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LUSTRATED MICHELIN GUIDES 
O THE BATTLE-FIELDS (1914 1918) 



THE 



SOMME 

VOLUME 1. 

THE FIRST BATTLE OF THE SOmiE 

(1916-1917) 
(albert, bapaume , peronne) 



545 
^7 
S7 
v.l 



MICnEim fc CS - CLERMONT-FEHJtAM). 

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Tel. 251 
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The above information dates from March 1, 1920, and may no 
longer be correct when it meets the reader's eye. Consult the 
latest edition of the " Michelin Guide to France," or write to : — 

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To visit Amiens, consult the Illustrated 
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basket and pefro! with you from Amiens. 



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FOR THEIR COUNTRY 



THE 

SOMME 



VOLUME I 



THE FIRST BATTLE OF THE SOMME 

(1916 1917) 

(ALBERT "BAPAUME— PERONNE) 



Published by 

MICHELIN & CiE. 

Clermont-Ferrand, France. 



Copyright 1919 by Michelin & Cie. 



All rights of translation, adaptation, or reproduction (in part or whole), reserved 

in all countries. 



THE FRANCO -BRITISH OFFENSIVE 
OF THE SOMME (1916). 



THE OBJECTIVES OF THE OFFENSIVE. 

In June, 1916, the enemy were the attacking party : the Germans were 
pressing Verdun hard, and the Austrians had begun a vigorous offensive 
against the Italians. It therefore became necessary for the Alhes to make a 
powerful effort to regam tlie initiative of the mihtary oiDerations. 

The objectives of the Franco-British offensive were, to regain the initiative 

of the mihtary operations ; to relieve 
Verdun ; to immobilise the largest 
possible number of German divisions 
on the western front, and prevent their 
transfer to other sectors ; to wear do^vn 
the fightmg strength of the numerous 
enemy divisions -which would be 
Ijrought up to the front of attack. 

Thanks to the immense effort made 
by the entire British Empire, their 
army had considerablj' uicreased in 
men and material, and was now m a 
position to undertake a powerful 
offensive. 

Under the comnuind of Field- 
Marshal Haig, t\\o armies, the 4th 
(General Rawlinson) and tlic 2nd 
(General Gough) were to take part in 
the offensive. 

In spite of the terrible stiaiu 
France was undergoing at XCidun, llie 
luimber of trooi)s left before that for- 
tress, \ni(I('r the command of (iem'ral 
IVtain. who had thoi'ougliiy coiisoM- 
ilafcil the defences, was reduced to tin- 
stri.test minimum, and the fith and 
10th Armies, under the comnuind of 

General Fayollc and General Micheler, respectively, were thus able to 

collaborate with the British in the Somnic olVcusiv c. 

Within a few days of the eneniys f()rmi(hil)!c onslaught of June 2.'? against 

the Thiaumont Vaux front, in which seventeen (icrnian regiments took 

part (see the Michelin (iuidc: " N'kkdun. and tiik Batti.es fuk its 

Po-ssEssiON "'), the Allied offensive was launched (July 1). 




GKNKIIAL FOCH, IN COMMANU OF THK 
FAVOLL7'. - MICHELKU AHMY GROUI', 
Ul'UIN(; THK SOMMF. OFFKNSIVK OF 
VJICk 



3 




HEAVV 

GUN ON 
KAILS. 



The Theory, Methods and Tactics adopted 

Witli both sides entrciulu'd along a contmuous front, the predomhiating 
problem was : How to break through the enemy's defences to the open ground 
beyond the last trenches, and then force the final decision. 

In 1915, the Allies had endeavoured unsuccessfully to solve it ; in 1916, 
the Germans, in turn, had suffered their severest check before Verdun. 

Putting expei'ience to profit, the Allies now sought to apply the methods 
of piercing on broatler lines. 

The defences having increased in strength and depth, the blow would 
require to be more powerful, precise, and concentrated as to space and time. 

After the attacks of September. 191.'), the French Staff set down as an 
axiom that " material cannot be comljatted with men."' Consequently, no 
more attacks without thorough preparation ; nothing was to be left to chance. 

The orders issued to the different arms, divisions, battalions, batteries, 
air-squadrons, etc., were recorded in voluminous plans of attack, the least 
of which numbered a hundred pages. 

Thousands of aerial photograplis were taken and assembled ; countless 
maps, plans and sketches made. Everything connected with the coming 
drama was methodically arranged : the staging, distribution of the parts, the 
various acts. 

Such was the intellectual preparation which, lasting several months, was 
carried out simultaneously with the equipping of the front line. 



Equipping the Front Line 

Preparing for a modern battle is a Herculean task. At a sufficient distance 
behind the front line immense ammunition and revictuallmg de})ots are 
established. IMiles of railway, both narrow and normal gauge, have to be 
put down, to bring up supplies to the trenches. Existing roads have to be 
improved, and new ones made. In the Somme, long embankments had to 
be built across the marshy valleys, as well as innumerable shelters for the 
combatants, dressmg- stations, and sheds for storing the ammunition, food, 
water, engineering supplies, etc. Miles of deep commimicating trenches, 
trenches for the telephone wires, assembly trenchf:s, parallels and observation- 
posts had to be made. The local (quarries were worked, and wells bored. 




Ginchtj, bombarded b>i the British on Jvlij 11, I'.ilG. 




Ginchy, ten days later (July 21, 1910). 




^ 



Uinchy, '"" '/'l.v^ lnj'irr iiiiiline liy tl,, luilish (Stjit. 7, lilHl). Air jt. Mi. 

ILLUSTRATING TIIK I'HOGUKSSIVK DKSTIU C IION ANH I.KVKM.I N(_l OK A VILLAGE 

BY AUTII,LKUY. 




KllUNCl A Il'-I^'CH LO>;u-KANGE LiUX. 

The Part Played by each Arm in the Different Phases of the Attack 

111 modern, well-uicU'ifd l)attl(% it is tlie material sti'eiigth wliieh counts 
most. The cannon must crush tlic encmy"s machine-guns. (Superiority of 
artilleiy is an essential element of success. 

According to the latest formula, '" the artillery conquers, the infantry 
occupies." 

At each stage of the battle, each arm has a definite role to play. 

The Artillery 

Before the baffle, the artillery must destroy the enemy's wire entanglements, 
trenches, shelters, blockhouses, observation-iJosts, etc. ; locate and engage 
his guns ; hamper and disperse his working parties. 

Ditr'um fhe baffle, it must crush enemy resistance, provide the attacking 
infantry with a protecting screen of tire, by means of creeping barrages, and 
cut off the defenders from supj^lies and reinforcements by isolating barrages. 

Affer fhe baffle, it must protect the attacking troops who have reached their 
objectives, from enemy counter-attacks, by barrage tire. 




CAMOU- 
FLAGE I) 
1IKA\ Y GUN 
AHOUT TO 
riKE. 



6 




iiii: CAi'XLUi: ui" \ i:i;.ma.\do\ ii^i^Eiis. 

The an-ival of French reinforcewenU. J'hotoj/raphed from accoinpaiiyiwj aeroplaiw 

at (mfeet 'p. 128). 



The Infantry 

Before the buttle, the attackint; troops assemble first in the shelters, then in 
the assembling places antl parallels made during the previous night. The 
battalion, company and section commanders survey the ground of attack 
with field-glasses. 

Diirinr/ the battle, at a given signal, the assaulting battalions dash forward 
from the departure trenches, the first wave deployed in skirmishing order ; 
the sc'icond and third, consisting of trench-cleaners, machine-gunners and 
supports, follow thirty or forty yards behind, in short columns (single file or 
two abreast). Reinforcements irhelmied, and likewise in small columns, 
bring up the rear, ITA) to 200 yards behind. 

As a matter of fact, in actual fighting, each regiment attacks separately. 
The Commandant, realising the difficulties on the spot, must have in hand all 
the necessary means of success, the most powerful lieiiig the artillery, which 
accompanies and prepares eat h j)hase and dc\(lopment of the attack. 




INFANTRY ADViSCE. 
The attackitvj waves mark their adcance with Beivjal lights. 



Generally, the creeping barrage, timed beforehand, is loosed at the same 
moment of time as the assaulting wave. The infantry follows as closely as 
possible. 

Constant and perfect liaison is necessary between the infantry- and artillery. 
This is ensured by means of runners, pennons, panels, telephones, optical 
telegraphy, signals, rockets, Bengal lights, etc. A similar liaison is, ensured 
between the various attacking imits, on the right, left and behind. Action 
must be co-ordinated, an essential point on which the G.H.Q. always strongly 
insist. 

As soon as the enemy perceives the assaulting waves, every effort is made 
to scatter them by means of artillery barrage and machine-gim fire, asphyxiat- 
ing gas, grenades and liquid fire, so that generally the storming troops cross 
'" no man s land "" through a veritable screen of fire. The enemys fire likewise 
extends to the first-line trenches, to cut off the first waves from their supports. 

Without stopping at the enemy's first-line organisations, the first attacking 
wave overwhelms the position, annihilates all defenders encountered, and 
only comes to a halt at the assigned objective. The foUo^^ing waves support 
the first one, and deal with points of resistance. The trench-cleaners or 
moppers-up " clean out " the position of enemy survivors ^^-ith bayonet, 
knife and grenade, in indescribable death grapples. Progress is slow along 
the communicating trenches, and in the underground shelters, tunnels, cellars 
and ruins, where the defenders have taken refuge. From time to time hidden 
machine-guns are immasked and have to be captured. 

AJUr the attack. — As soon as the " cleaning out " is finished, any prisoners 



4 



are sent to the rear, being often 
forced to cross their own barrage- 
fire. INIeanwhile the otlier defendei'S 
will have withdrawn to their posi- 
tions of sujjport. 

Having reached their objective, 
the assaultuig troops must hold 
tlieir ground. Sentries are posted, 
while the rest of the men consoli- 
date the position in view of the 
inevitable counter-attack, which is 
generallj' not long in coming. 

Under bombardment, the 
levelled trenches have to be re- 
made, the sheil-holes organised 
and flanked with machine-guns, 
and communications with the rear 
ensured for the bringing up of stores and, if necessary, reinforcements. 

The assaulting troops may thus reach their objectives without excessive 
losses or nervous strain, and may be kept in line for a second and third 
similar effort, after a few days" rest, during which the artillery -will have 
destroyed the next enemy positions. 




r^*x 



GERMAN PRISONERS HURRYING TO 
THE allies' lines. 



The Flying- Corps 

Before the battle. — Metaphorically speaking, the Flying Corps (aeroplanes 
and observation balloons) is the " eye " of the High Connnand. which largely 
depends on it for precise information regardmg the enemy's movements and 
positions. It likewise regulates the artillery fire, and furnishes that arm 
with photographs, showing exactly the progress made by the destruction 




OliSKRVATION BALLOON. 



bombardments. Another equally important duly is to '" liliml the t iicmy " 
by destroying their aeroplanes and observation balloons. 

Duriuff the battle. — Flying low. sometimes Mithin a few hundred 
feet of the ground, the airmen furnisli invahiable iiiformalion. and often 
])hotograplis, showing the ]»rogress of the attack, the lerniiii licing marUcd 
out with panels and Bengal lights. They also often attack the enemy with 
their machine-guns. 




mUTISII TANKS 
MAKE THEIR 
UEIiUT. 



After the haHlc. — Tlio massing of onemy troops for counter-attacks is 
signalled to the artillery, which regulates its barrages accordingly, then, 
working in liaison, the two services " jirepare " the ground for the next 
attack. 

These tactics were gradually pei'fected on the iSoinme battlofields, ■sphere 
the Germans learned by costly experience to improve their defences. 

The offensive methods acquired also greater suppleness, and the new 
arm — the tank — came to the relief of the infantry. 




GK^^KllAL i'AYOLLK l>-Si'KCTIXL. THE L•0^■gUKKEi) LINKS. 



10 




THE DOTTKD ZONES REPKKSENT THE GERMiN J.INKS OK UKSISTANCE. 



THE SOMME BATTLEFIELD. 



Tlio Ijattle extemlcil <)\cr (lie I'icaidy plateau, i^oiitli and north of tlio 
Sommc. licforc th<' war, the ni<;i()ii A\as lidi ami fertile, tlie eliaik\ ,m(aiii(l 
having u C(;vcring of alluvial soil of variable tliieUness. 

Tho slopes of the undulating hills and 1h<' brojul (alile-lands were eovcred 
with immense! lields of corn, j)oj)j)ies and sugar Ix-et. Here and there were 
small woods — vestiges of the Arrouaise Forest, which covered the whole 



11 



country in the Middle-Ages. There were scarcely any isolated houses, but 
occasionally a windiiiill, faiiii or sugar-refineiy would break the monotony of 
the landsca])e. 

The villages were surrounded with orchards, and their low, red-tiled houses 
were generally grouped around the church. The plateau was crossed by 
wide, straight roads bordei-ed with tine elms. 

The war has robbed the district of its former aspect. The ground, in a 
state of complete upheaval, is almost levelled in ])laces, while the huge 
mine-craters give it the appearance of a lunar landscape. The ground was 
churned up so deeply that the upper covering of soil has almost entirely 
disappeared and the limestone substratum now laid bare is overrun with 
rank vegetation. From Thiepval to Albert, ('ombles and Peroinus and from 
Chaulnes to Roye, the ground was so comph^tely upturned as to render 
it useless for agriculture for many years to come, and a scheme to plant this 
area with ])ine trees is now being considered. 

Nearly all the villages were razed, and now form so many vast heaps of 
debris. This battletield is a striking example of the total destructions wrought 
by the late war. 

The Topography of^ the Ground and the Enemy Defence-works 

North of the Soitune. — The battle zone, bounded by the rivers Ancre, 
Somme and Tortille — the latter doubled by the Northern Canal — forms a 
strongly undulating plateau (altitude 400-520 feet), which descends in a series 
of hillocks, separated by deep depressions, to the valleys of the rivers (altitude 
KiO feet). The Albert — Combles — Peronne railway runs along the bottom of 
one of these depressions. 

The higher parts of the plateau form a ridge, one of whose tapering 
extremities rests on the Thiepval Heights, on the bank of the Ancre. Running 
west to east, the ridge crosses the Albert-Bapaume road at Pozieres, passes 
Foureaux Wood, then north of Ginchy. It is the watershed which divides 
the rivers flowing northwards to the Escaut and southwards to the Somme. 

The second linie of German positions was established on this I'idgc, while 
the flrst line extended along the imdulating slopes which descended towards 
the Allies' positions. There were other enemy positions on the counter-slopes 
behind the ridge. 

These positions took in the villages and small woods of the region, all of 
which, fortifled during the previous two years, bristled with defence- works and 
machine-guns. 

Some of these villages (Courcelette, Martinpuich, Longueval, Guillemont 
and Combles), hidden away in hollows, were particularly deadly for the Allies ; 
the defendei's, luisecn, were able to snipe the assailants as they appeared on 
the hill tops. The Allies had to encircle these centres of resistance before 
they were able to enter them. 

South of the Somme. — The battle zone, bomided by the large circular bend 
of the Somme at Peronne, formed a kind of arena. The vast, flat table- 
lands of the Sauterre district, separated by small valleys, descend gently 
towards the large marshy valley of the Somme, in which the canal runs parallel 
with th.> riv(>r. 

Owing to the i\ai row i\( ss of this zone, the (Jermans were forced to establish 
their ])ositions close behind one another, and the latter were therefore in 
danger of i)eing carried in a single rush. On the other hand, the assailants, 
I'apid advance was flrst hampered, then held by the marshy valley, which 
prevented theiK from following up their brilliant initial success. 

Duiing the battle, the CJermans, driven from their flrst positions, hastily 
prepared new ones, and clung desperately to the counter-slopes of the hills 
which descend to the valleys. 



12 



CamMes 



The DifFerent Stages of the Offensive 

The offensive of the Somme, the general direction of which was towards 

Cambrai. aimed at reaching the main northern line of communications, by 

opening a gap between Bapaume and Peronne. 

The main sector of attack — between the Ancre and the Pomme — was 

flanked on either side by diversion sectors north of the Ancre and south of 

the Somme. 

Putting to profit the German failure at Verdun, where the enemy masses, 

after ajipalling sacrifice of human 
life, gradually became blocked in a 
narrow sector (7j miles in width), 
the Allies widened their front of 
attack. 

After an effective " pounding "' 
by the guns which annihilated all 
obstacles to a considerable depth, 
the assaulting waves went forward 
simultaneously along a 24-mile 
front, feeling for a weak sector 
where a breach could be made. 
The attack was a complete success 
in the diversion sector, south of 
the Somme, thanks to the nature 
of the gromid, but, as previously 
stated, it was not possible to follow 
it u]) immediately. 

North of the Sommc the British 
offensive was held. 

Warned by the immense pre- 
parations, the (Jermans were not 
taken unawares. Tluir reserves 
flowed in and resisted on new 
the French (ith Arniv was slowed 




ATTEMPTED BREAK-THROUGH. 

A breach ?('rt.v made south <if tlie Stmiiue, but the 
marshes j^rereiiteil <ler<'lii/iment, irhile tii the 
north, the ojffeusive was held on the Ancre lines. 



defensive positions. The advance of 
down to correspoiid with that of llic l'>iitish. 



The Battle of Attrition 

(Sre tin sl-dr/i-iiKi/is mi /■mji.'' !!!. IS, 27.) 

This attcMiplcd brcak-throiigli (.Inly I 12) soon changed into a battle of 
attrition (July 14, I'.tKi, to .March, 1!»17). 

The .Allies' ])lan now was gradually to shatter the (Jernian Ksistance by 
a continuous pu.sh along the whole line, and 1)\' \ igorous action at tli(> 
various strong- points. 

The gains of groinid diininislK il, imt tlie (iernian reserves were gradually 
u.sed ii|). In s|)ite of their hastily constructed system of new defenees, the 
flernians realiscrl the |ireciii ions nature of linii' new lines, ami were lorced, 
in .Mai'ch, l'.M7. to I. ill hack and .slujrlen lluii' front. 



13 



THE PHASES OF THE BAIILE OF ATTRITION. 



NORTH OF THE SOMME. 



SOUTH OF THK SOMME. 



I ^ 




Bapaume 


Albert , 


vaZ 


^^Comiles 


(^ 






-^1 

/ 
/ 


y^orcroime 



Tlie Fraiico-Uritixh troop.i enlanje the cmi- 
qufieil positiiina und attack tite cent rex of re- 
sistance: CotnUes and Thiepral {-lahj 14 — 
Sei'teniber 1). 




The nth Ann;/ (French) held liy the Sonime 
Marshes, tui/k up its new pasltion. The lath 
Army {French) antteinlilctl on its rijht (Aaijust — 
Se2Jtember). 





Conil/tex anil Tliiepral tamed and ciiinjuereil, 
after beimj sarrounded [Septeutber — Xoceniber). 



Tlif lOtli Arm 11 attacked, but was lield iii 
front of Cliaulnes (September— October). 



yjoxi/nc 




eronne 



'Die Allies adcance toward their main olijec- 
tiivs : lia-paume and Peronne (Xuvember — 
March). 




The loth Arm// (French) Jailed to encircle 
Cliaulnes, and consolidated its new positiofis 
(October — yuveniber). 



14 




FIBIiD-MARSUAL liAKi. 



THE ATTEMPTED BREAK-THROUGH. 



The British Attack 



On Jul\- 1. the front of attack, about 21 miles long, extended from 
Gommecourt to Maricourt. 

The attack was made by the 4th Ai'iny (Cen. Rawlinson). cominising 
five army corps, and by three di\isions of the right \\'ing of the 3rd Army 
(Gen. Allenby). 

The main sector of attack, lying between the Anere and Maricourt, fonr.s 
a 90'^ salient, the summit of which encircled Fricourt. 

The first German positions included Ovillers, La Boisselle, Fricourt, 
Mametz and Montauban, and formed the objective of the attack. 

The latter, directed generally towards Bapaume, was dehvered against 
both flanks of the salient. 

From the start, the attack was held befoi-e the western side of the salient, 
in spite of the great heroism of the British. 

The right wing, on the soutliern side, succeeded in carrying the first 
German position. 

In face of this result, FicM.Miir.-hal Haig decided to ])usli hdinc Ihc attack 




^ 



I'linlii, JiiiKK,//, l.iindon. 
OEMBRAL KAWLINSON. 



J'/ioto, F. A. .'id'uiae, Luadun 
OKNEllAL ALLENBY. 



15 



vGornwecourtM- 




IIIK DOTTKI) 
Zo.NKS ON THIS 
ANI> THK 
yoLI.oWINfl 
SKKTCII-MAPS 
RKl'KKSKNT THE 
GKltMAN LINKS 
OF KESISTANCK. 



on his riglit (throe corjis under Gen. RawHnson), ^\•llile his left (two corps 
under Gen. Gough) would continue to press the entmy, and thus form the 
pivot of the manfcixvre. 

The first assaults on July 1 gave the British IMoutauban and Mametz, 
while Fricourt and La Boisselle were encircled and carried on July 3. 
Progress continued on the right, Contalmaison and IVIametz Wood, reached 
on the 5th, were carried on the 11th. 

On the extreme right, the British, in 
liaison with the French, reached the 
southern edges of Trones Wood, and 
came into contact with the second 
German positions. Over G,000 prisoners 
were taken. The Germans launched in- 
cessant counter-attacks without result. 

In the diversion sector, north of the 
Ancre, the initial successes at Gomme- 
court, Serre and on the Ancre could not 
be followed up. 

The Germans continued to hold Beau- P/mto, "Daily Mirror" studios. 

mont-Hamel and Thiejjval in force. general gough. 




16 



The French Attack 

The French 6th Army (Gen. Fayolle) attacked along a ten-mile front-, 
astride of the Somme, from Maricourt to Soyecourt, in the general direction 
of Peronne. 

North of the Somme. — ^The 20th Corps had to conquer the German first 
position, consisting of three or four lines of trenches connected by numerous 
hoyaux to the fortified \\'oods and village of Curlu. 

This position was carried in a single rush on July 1, and consolidated on 
the three following days. 

The second and third German positions were as strong as the first, and 
included the villages of Hardecourt and Hem. On the 5th, Hem and the 
plateau which dominates the village to the north were taken. On the 8th, 
the French, in liaison with the British, first carried, then progressed beyond, 
Hardecourt. 

From July 1 to 8, the 20th Corps captured the first and second German 
positions and consolidated their conquest on the following days. 

South of the So))i»ie. —Tho attack 
was launched on July I, two hours 
later than that on the northern 
bank. With fine dash, the 1st 
Colonial Corps and a division of 
Brittany reserves carried the first 
German position, including the 
villages of Dompierre, Becquincourt 
and Fay. 

On the 2nd, the movement was 
continued on the left. Frise, out- 
flanked from the south, was cap- 
tured, Mercaueourt Wood encircled, 
and Herbecourt carried by a frontal 
attack, after being turned from the 
north. The ap])roaches to Asse- 
\ill('is and Estrees were reached. 
'I'lie northern part of the second 
])osition was captured. 

On llic 3rd, the advance 
tinned on the left, 
the third ])osition, 
(he course of an 
ilaring coiip-de-niain. 
wise fell. 

(,K\i:U.\L FAYOLLK. 




con- 

Flaucourt, in 

was carried in 

cxt raoidinarily 

Asscvillcrs likc- 



Bclloy was ca])turcd on the 4th; 
the divisional cavalry jiali-ollcd fi'cely 
as far as (he Somin<', bclwccn liiaches and Barlcux. 

liiaclies village and La Maisonnette observation-post f( II on llu- !Hli and 
loth. The liorscsof tlie African Mounted Chasseurs were \vat( red in the Somme, 
anil till- Zouaves gathered chiriics in the suliui'han gardens of IN'ronne. 

During these ten days thr l-'ninh Ironjis. hy ranyini: out a \ast turning 
m()\einent on the left, towards the south-east, had pierced all the (Jciinan 
])ositions. A breach had been made, but the marshy \ alley of the Somnui 
ill this diversion sector juade it \ciy dilliiult to follow u|i the success; 
Uioicover. (he object i\'es assigned to these troops diil liol |)io\ide liU' sueh 
< \|)loitat ion. 

The l''reneh attaeU had been carried cmt with great dash. In addition to 



17 




the nianv linos of defences, villages and fortified woods conquered, 85 guns, 
100 machine-gnus, and 2(5 minenwerfer were captured, and over 12,000 
prisoners, inchuling 235 officers, taken. 

The gallant trooj^s. which had thus inflicted a stinging defeat on the enemy, 
included the famous 20th Corps, which, a few months before, in a veritable 
inferno, had barred the road to Verdun. 




THl] SITE OF MONACU FARM ON THE MAUEEPAS 
KOAD NEAR HEM WOOD. 



18 



THE BATTLE OF ATTRITION (North of the Somme). 

Ill the main sector of attack the German Hne had not been completely 
broken. This attemjit to break througli ^\'as succeeded by a battle of 
attrition, in the course of which the Allies, working in close collaboration, 
dealt the enemy repeated blows. 

Xorfh of ihe Somme. — After July 11, the Allied front between the Ancre 
and the iSomme, held by the strong German positions of the Thiepval Plateau, 
passed in front of C'ontalmaison and Montauban. On the southern edges of 
Trones Wood it turned south^\■ards towards Hem. 

This line fonned a salient to the east of Trones Wood — a narrow space 
bristling witli guns. From the high ground of their second position in the 
north, ami that of Ijonguexal, Gincliy and Guillemont, tlie German tiring 
line formed a semi-circle round this salient, which was threatened by incessant 
counter-attacks. While maintaining the pressin-e on the west, it became 
necessary for the Allies to ^\ idem the angle and enlarge the front, or, in other 
words, to obtain greater freedom of movement. 

This was the aim of the various Franco-British thrusts during the second 
fortnight of July and in August. 

1.— Widening the Front 

{July 14 — September 1.) 

Tn order to support the forthcoming French thrust towards the east, a 
British attack to the north-east \\as deemed necessai'v. 

The German second positions from Contalmaison to Trones Wood, and 
the crests of the ridge of the plateau formed the objective. 

On July 14, the 4th British Army, by a clever manteuvre, took up positions 
in the dark at attacking distance. Trones Wood was carried on the tiist 
day. Longueval, stormed from east and west, was partly captured. In 
the centre, Bazentin-le-Grand with its wood and Bazentin-le- Petit were 
taken. To the left, the southern outskii'ts of Pozii'rcs were reached. 




^.^,2^^^ ^\\^!^our C 



19 



UllITISH GIIAVKS 
i.N TRUNKS 
WOOD (j). 85). 




On July 15-lG, the British progressed beyond the (German second position- 
carried along a three-mile front— and estaljlished their advance-posts in the 
vicinity of the Gernian third ])osition. 

By this time the (Jermans had recovered from their set-back of the 14th 
and offered an aggressive defence. Counter-attacking at the point of the 
salient in the Allied linos at Delville Wood, they succeeded in slipping through, 
but they were held in fi'ont of Longueval. 

On the 20th and 23rd, the Allies delivered a general attack. The British 
4th Army was now confronted by the enemy in force all along the line. 
However, the village of Poziei-es, one of the strong- i)oints of Thiejjval Plateau, 
to the west, was carried by the Australians on July 25. The French 
advanced their Unes as far as the ravine, in which runs the light railway 
from Combles to Clery. 

Hidden in a hollow of the grounil, (iuillemont resisted the Bi'itish assaults 
of July 150 and August 7. 

On August 12, the French 1st 
turning (luillemont from the south. 
Regiment enteied Maurepas. 

More to the south, the 170th Infantry captured the fortified crest lying 
I km. 500 west of V\n-y. 

The British hung on to tlie western outskirts of Guillemont. 



Corps continued its thrust eastwards, 
The Zouaves and 1st Cambrai Infantry 




I>KL\'n,I,K WOOD 
NORTH OK 
LONGUE\AL 
(p. CO). 



20 



2.— The Surrounding; and Capture of the Main Centres of Resistance 

On September 1, the British hues, still hanging on to the southern slojjes 
of the Thiepval Plateau, followed the crest of the ridge north of the villages 
of Thiepval, Bazentin-le-Petit and Longueval, in front of the outskirts of 
Delville Wood, were then deflected south-east and joined A\ith the French 
lines m the ravine of the Combles railway. The French lilies surroimded 
Maurepas, then followed the road from ^laurepas to Cler}-. Thiepval and 
Combles seemed impregnable. 

Instead of making a frontal attack against these positions, the Allies first 
turned and then siu'rounded them by a succession of thrusts. 

In addition to their successive lines of defence-works, which included a 
number of villages, the Germans had transformed the little town of Combles, 
lying entirely hidden from view at the bottom of an immense depression — 
into a redoubtable fortress. A large garrison was safely sheltered in vast 
quarries connected by tunnels with the concrete defence-works. 

The Surrounding- and Capture of Combles 

In September, four Allied thrusts were necessary to encircle and capture 
Combles [see p. 80j. 

The Attack of September 3 

Ginchy and Guillemont formed the British objective. On the 3rd, in 
spite of machine-gun fire from Ginchy, the Irish carried Guillemont, which 
had resisted for seven weeks. Progressing beyond the village they reached 
and captured Leuze Wood, 1 km. 500 west of Combles. On the 9th, they 
enlarged their gains liy the conquest of Ginchy [sec ]). 4). 

The German positions connecting Combles with Le Forest and Clcrj' 
formed the French objective. 

This position — defended by four German divisions — was cariied with 
magnificent dash on the .3rd, from near Combles to the Sonnne. 

On the 5th, the French progressed beyond the position and reached the 
following line : Anderlu Wood, north-east of Le Forest, ]\Iarri( res Wood, 
and the crest north-east of Clery ; 2,500 prisoners were taken. 




21 




The French Attack of the 12th 

Attacking again, the French were now confronted by two parallel linec 
of defences. The first position (kno^^^^ as the Berlingots" trenches) ran 
through Fregicourt, Le Priez Farm and ]\Iarrieres Woods. The second 
l)osition, along the National road, 2 km. behind the first, rested on Rancourt, 
Feuillancourt and the Canal du Xord, taking in Bouchavesnes. 

Following close behind the creeping barrage, the attacking troops carried 
the Berlingots" trenches in half an hour. From there, the left wing attacked 
and captured Hill 145, and advanced as far as the National road, between 
Rancourt and Bouchavesnes. The right wing reached the Valle}' of the 
Tortille, opposite Feuillancourt. 

Bouchavesnes, although not included in the objectives assigned to the 
storming troops, was next attacked, and at 8 p.m. Bengal lights, announcing 
its capture, were burning in the ruins of the village. 

On the 13th, the French crossed the National load. The enemy showed 
great nervousness, and brought up three new divisions. 




THK CANAL 
1>U NUUD. 



22 



-,-.1^ 




The British Attack of 
September 15 



The Gt'iman positions of 
Foureaux Wood, Hill 154 
and Morval were the objec- 
tives of the attack. 

For the first time tanks 
accompanied the storming 
waves, giving the enemy an 
luipleasant siirjji'ise. \\hich 
contributed largely to the 
A'ictory. 

In the centre, the tanks 
entered Flers before noon ; 
the troops advanced beyond the village and established themselves. On the 
left, Foui'eaux Wood, bristling with strong-points and redoubts, and on the 
right. Hill 154 were carried, and the Morval— Lesboeufs—Gueudecourt line 
reached. 

In consequence of this brilliant success of the British right, the attack 
was extended on the left ; the tanks entered :Martinpuich and Courcelette. 
In a single day the British advanced 2 km. along a 10 km. front, and captured 
4,000 prisoners. 

The enemy threw two more divisions into the battle, and fiercely counter- 
attacked the salient formed by the French lines at the Bapaume-Peronne 
road. After getting a footing in Bouchavesnes on September 20, they were 
driven out at the point of the bayonet. 

The General Attack o-f September 25, and Capture of" Combles 

The Allied front line moved for\\ar<l again, to comitietc the invoslment 
of Combles. 

Rancourt and Frcgicourt fell on the 25th. in the French attack; JNIorval 
was captured by the British. 

The encirclement of Combles was com])lete, and the enemv had alreadv 
partially evacuated the j)lace. On the 2(ith, the British entered the fortress 
from the north, the French from the south, ajul captured a company of laggards. 




23 




f'^Fierrelh 






/hzftyT^i^- , _ 



The Turnings and Capture of Thiepval Plateau 

West of the liiu-s of the 4th British Army, and dominating the valley of 
the Ancre, the powerfully fortified Thiejjval Plateau still remained uncaptured. 
This very strong system of defences comprised the village, .Mou<|uet Farm, 
and the Zollern, Schwaben and Stuff Redoubts. 

In July, the British had gained a footing in the Leipzig Redoubt, which 
formeil the first enemy ])ositions south of the Plateau. In August, Pozieres 
had been carried by the Australians. On .September 15, the British captured 
ISIartinpuich and Courcelette, and ]irogressed beyond the plateau to the east. 

The Attack of September 26 

On September 2G, the day C'ombles A\as taken, an attack was made 
against this formidable j^lateau. JNIouquet Farm and Zollern Redoubt fell, 
and on the 27th, Thieiival was ca^itured (sec j)- 48). 

The British cari'ied the trenches connecting the Schwaben and Stuff 
Redoubts, but the enemy still clung to the northern slopes of the plateau 
which descends towards the Ancre. 



The Attack of November 13 

The German lines now formed a sharp salient on the Ancre. 

To I'educe this salient and complete the cajiture of Thiepval Plateau, 
the British attacked on both sides of the river. 

The attack was delivered in a thick fog, on the 1.3th, ^\hen St. Pierre- 
Divion and Beaumont-Hamel fell ; the same evening Beaucourt village 
was encircled, to be captured on the morrow. On the folloA\ir.g days, the 
assailants successfully resisted numerous counter-attacks. From the 13th 
to the 19th, 7,000 jirisoners were taken, and the whole of Thie2)val Plateau 
was captured. 




3cau7noTif7uuru 



SU^jerre-Diviori 




^'kuimfmidi 



ozrer-c^ 



24 




The Advance towards the Main Objectives (Bapaume P^ronne) 

Towards Bapctume. — The British advance on the two wings — Thiepval 
to the west and Gueudecourt to the east — forced the C4ernian centre 
back on the Le Sars-Eaucourt line. Continuing to press the enemy, the 
British carried Destremont Farm, in front of Le Sars, on September 29, 
while on Octol)er 3, the village of Eaucourt-rAbbaye was taken. On the 
7th, a further advance was made along the spur which forms a salient in 
front of Ls Transloy village, and Le Hars village was carried the same day. 

A single line of heights only now separated the British Army from 
Bapaume, km. distant from Le Sars. This line consisted chiefly of Warlen- 
court Tiidge, which dominates the country all round, and which had been 
turned by the Germans into an apparently impregnable fortress. 

Although till' bad weather and the mud now forced the Allies to suspend 
their offensive, sharp fighting continued. From December to the end of 
January th(> liritish raided the enemy's trenches unceasingly. 

.After that, o])erations were resumed to reduce tlie Ancre salient completely. 
The improvement, realised since the previous suninu'r. in their oifensive 
strength, at once became apparent. Their artillery, reinforced, thoroughly 
'■pounded " the whole terrain, making it possibl(> for the infantry to force a 
way through all obstacles, and to adva-ucc continuously. 

Advancing over the tops of tlic hills, \\lii(li l)ordi'r the I'ljper Ancre, the 
British directed their efforts alternately against both banks of the river, 
and soon rcMulered untenable those ])ositions still held by the Gernums at 
the bottom of tlie valleys. On Fel)ruary 7, l!li7, (irandcourt was caiitured, 
whWr the week following, Mlraumoiit, Pys, Warlencourt with its famous Kidge, 
and Li<4nv 'l'liill()\- (within :5 km. of l^ajiaume) were surrounded. 

'I'he (icnnans now fell l)a(k on a new line of (Icfcnccs close to the town, 
and i)y strong counter-attacks soui^ht to stay tlie Hritisli advance. Their 
efforts were in vain, however, and tli(> liritisli h(>mnu'd them in more closely 
each (lav. Irles was occupied on .March 10; Louppart Wood anil (iivvillcrs 
on the l.'UIi. On the 14th. tlic British were at the gates of liapaumc, which 
they entered thr(>e days later (the 17th), only to lind that the town had been 
burnt and methodically destroyed by the (Jcrnians. 

Tdiranls I'/rannr. —i)\\ Oct()i)cr l.thc l''nnch lines, in //V/'.so» wit h those 
of the liritish south of Morval, took in ilancouil, i'.oMchavcsncs and Lalilx'- 
Farm, passed in iiont of fcnillamdiirt and rcaclicij IhcSonnncal ( linii'coiirt. 



25 



After a halt, devoted to the consolidation of tli(^ ground, the French 
resinned thcii' adviiuce. in S])ite of the had weather. The objective was 
now to widen the positions beyond th(^ Ba])aume-Pei'onne road, in order 
to turn the town f I'om the north, as the marshes of the Somme and the defences 
of Mont-Saint-C^uentin did not permit a frontal attack. 

On October 7, the road was occupied from Raneouit to within about 
200 yards of the first houses of Sailly-8aillisel, and the western and south- 
westei'n outskirts of Saint-Pierre-Vaast Wood were reached. Dui'ing the 
following weeks tlu^ lighting, which was furious, concentrated around Sailly- 
Saillisel. On October 18, Sailly was carried, but Saillisel held out until the 
beginning of Novembei'. Meanwhile, the French made several unsuccessful 
attempts to carry the defence-works of Saint-i'ierre-Vaast Wood, and finally 
remained hanging on to the western outskirts, in close contact with the enemy. 



o%07ransloj/ 




'iouchcihesne^ 
eudlancourt. ■ 

'eroime 



At the end of IDlti, the front line in this sector extended from the northern 
outskirts of Sailly-Saillisel, along the western edges of Saint-Pierre-Vaast 
Wood, then took in Bouchavesnes and crossed the Somme near Omiecourt. 

The winter passed quietly, except in the region of Sailly-Saillisel and Saint- 
Pierre-Vaast Wood, where skirmishing and grenade fighting were incessant. 
The British took possession of the sector and fortified it strongly, raiding from 
time to time the enemy trenches. 

In March, 1917, the artillery duel increased in intensity, and the Germans 
prepared to evacuate their positions. 

Their retreat began on March 15, after the country had been methodically 
devastated. The British occupied the whole wood of Saint-Pierre-Vaast 
on the 15th and 16th, almost without striking a blow. On the 17th, they held 
the Mont-Saint-Qu(Mitin — ])owei'ful advance foi'ti'css of Pcromie. On the 
18th, they finally entered the town from the north, while other detachments 
reached it from the south-east, across the marshes of the Somme. 



26 




president poincahe handing the " commandeur de la legion 
d'honxeur" insignia to general MICHELER. 



The Battle of Attrition, South of the Somme 

In the early days of July, in the diversion section south of the Somme, 
the French 1st Colonial (*orps, having carried the three German positions, 
faced south-east. 

The French lines resting on the western outskirts of Oiniecourt, followed 
the Somme Canal, encircled Biaches and La Maisonnette, turned south-west, 
and passed in front of Barleux village, which, hidden in a depression of the 
ground, had till then successfully resisted all a.ssaults. 'J'he lines ran towards 
Soyecourt (still held by the enemy), then southwards via Lihons and Maucourt. 

From La Maisonnette to IMaucouit, they formed the sides of an enormous 
obtuse angle, the apex of which was Soyecourt. 

The oV)jective of the French lOtli Army ((ieneral IMicheler). disposed along 
the sides of this angle, was to widen the latter I)y means of continued thrusts 
in the directio.i of the southern end of the bend in the Somme. Its advance 
being then stayed by the important stronghold of Chaulnes, the latter was to 
be half-encircled, thereby seriously threatening tlie rear of the (!ci-nuvn 
positions south of the town. 

The {''iciicii olliiisivc was lauiiclicil on September 4. The outskiits of 
Deniecourt and I'x rny \\( ic reached in the liist rush ; in the centre, Soyecourt 
was carried; on the lift. N'crmaridov illcts was jiartly caijtured and Chilly 
passed by about half a mile. 

On the 5th. the (iermans counter attaiUcd inisuecessfully, and failed to 
stay tln' l-"reiieh advance. On the C.th. half the \ illage of Herny was taken. 
In three (lays, G,Or)0 prisoners and ."{(i giuis, including 28 heavies, were ca])ture(l. 

A fresh offensive was combiued, with the attack of the 12th by the Franco- 
British troops north of the Somme, and tliat of the l.')th by the liritish troops 
operating beyond Combles. 



27 




On the 17th, the conquest of Vermandovillers and Berny was conn)Ieted, 
and on the 18th, the village of Denieoourt was encircled and captured. 

On October 10th, the offensive was resumed after a heavy bombardment 
between Berny and Chaulnes. The hamlet of Bovent, north of Ablaincourt, 
was conquered, together with the western edge of Chaulnes Wood. Parts of 
these woods were captured in October, and at the beginning of November. 
The villages of Ablaincourt and Pressoire were also occupied. 

Thanks to this slow but continuous advance, and to the capture of these 
various villages, the fortress of Chaulnes was outflanked and half-encircled. 

However, the Germans managed to maintain themselves there, and the 
French progress was held in this sector, as it had been further north, by the 
stronghold of Barlcux and the marshes of the Somme. 

At the end of H)l(). the front line of the sector south of the Somme started 
from Omiecourt, left Barleux in (German hands, and crossed the Maisonnette 
L'lateau. From there, it described a large circle via Bernj' (French) and 
Chaulnes (German), skirting Roye and l.assigny (see shetch map, p. 29). 



28 



The German Retreat of March, 1917 



Although the Somme offensive did not give immediate strategical results, 
it nevertheless procured the Allies tactical advantages \\hich were one cf 
the causes of the German retreat of March, 1917. 

The capture- of important points of sujjjjort made the position of the 
Germans a very precarious one, at all the points where they had so far suc- 
ceeded in maintaining themselves. They feared that if in 1917 tlie Allies 
resumed their offensive — which the experience acquired in 1916 would render 
still more formidable — further retreat, resulting in the piercing of their front 
line, might become necessary. They consequently decided voluntarily to 
shorten their lines by falling back on new positions in the rear, known as 
the Hindenburg Line " (see the Michelin Guide : '" The Hindenbukg 
Lixe""). 




THE BAND OF TilK AUSTRALIAN 5tH BRIGAUK PASSING THKOUGH 
THE SMOKING RUINS OF BAPAUME ON ISIARCH 19, 1917, WHILE 
THE BATTLE STILL RAGED NEAR BY, ON THE LINE BECQUINCOURT 
— NOVAINS. 

The formation of a new defensi\e front was only jiossible by evacuating 
a large area, and the German retreat extended to the whole of the region 
comprised between Arras and Soissons. It A\as very skilfully carried out, 
unhampered l)y the Allies, who contenttd themselves with following close 
behind the retreating enemy. 

On March 15 and 16, 1917, the French, informed by their Air Service of 
the enemys imminent retirement, made numerous raids into the Cierman 
trenches between the ()i.se and the Avre. advancing in places as much as 
4 km. On the 17th, the cavalry, followed by the infantry, entered J.assigny 
and Roye. Xoyon was occupied early on the 18th. 

On the same day (March 17) the T^ritish. having relieved (he French as 
far as south of Chauliies (lining the winter, cajjtured La .Maisonnette. Barleux, 
Villers-Carbonnel an<l all the viiiages still occupied by the enemy within 
the loop of the Somme. On the 18th, they entered Peronnc and Chaulnes. 

The whole region betwtMMi the Somme and the Oi.se was liliciatcd at that 
time, after thirty months of (ierman occupation, but only after it had been 
systematically and totally devastated, according to elaborate ])lans drawn 
up beforehand. These destructions were absolutely unjustiliable from a 



29 



military point of view. Towns and villages were wiped out, houses plun- 
dered, industries ruined, factories destroyed, land devastated, agricultural 
implements broken, farms burnt, trees cut down — in a word, everything 
done to turn the place into " a desert inmpable for a long time of producing 
the things necessary to life " (Berliner Tagblatt). 

It was from these new lines that in the spring of the following year the 
Germans launched their great offensive, designed to separate the Allied 
armies and resume their march " nach Paris." 

The German offensive 
and the Allied counter- 
offensive of 1918 are 
dealt with in the Michelin 
Guide : '" The Second 
Battle of the Somme 
(1918)." 

In addition to the 
pushing back of the 
enemy front, the Allies' 
three immediate objec- 
tives had been attained. 

Verdun was soon re 
lieved of the German 
pressure, as the enemy 
" were exhausted and 
compelled to use theii" 
reserves for the Russian 
front, and especially in 
the Somme. Their 
activities on the Verdun 
front were limited to 
making good then' losses. 
However, they were finally 
obliged to -tteaken this 
front to a point that they 
were unable to rejily to the 
French attacks . " (See the 
Michelin Guide: '"Verdun, 
AND the Battles for 
ITS Possession.'") 
^ The Allies' further aim to keep the maximum of the German forces on 
the western front was likcAdse attained. According to Field-]\Iarshal Haiss 
report, the transfer of enemy troops from west to east, begun after the 
Russian offensive of June, lasted a very little time after the beginning of 
the Somme offensive. Afterwards, with one exception, the enemy only 
sent exhausted battle-worn divisions to the eastern front, which were always 
replaced by fresh divisions. In November, the number of enemy divisions 
present on the western front was greater than in July, in spite of the abandon- 
ment of the offensive against Verdun. 




CZfey v/iont 

o 



THE SHADED PORTION REPRESENTS THE GROUND 

CONQUERED DURING THE 1916-1917 

OFFENSIVE. 



30 

As regards the wearing down of the enemy's fighting strength, their losses 
in men and material were much heavier than those of the Allies. 

Half the German forces in France came out of the battle physically and 
morally worn. 

From July 1 to December 1, the enemy had more than 700,000 men put 
out of action (killed, wounded or prisoners). More than .300 guns were 
captured and many others destroyed. 

The German nation, badly shaken by the violence and duration of the 
battle, alarmed at the events on the eastern front, and cruelly disappointed 
by their failure before Verdun, were on the point of suing for peace at the 
end of the Battles of the Somme. 

On the other hand, the British had gained full consciousness of their 
strength, and had fought in closer union ^\•ith their French comrades. 

The AUies of all ranks had learned to know and appreciate one another 
better, and future operations were destined to become more closely 
co-ordinated. " To fight under such conditions unity of command is 
generally essential, but in this case, the cordial good feeling of the Allied 
Armies, and their sincere desire to help one anotlier, served the same purpose 
and removed all difficulties " (Field-Marshal Haig). 

Among the French, the veterans and young classes vied -ttith one another 
in heroism. Many "hleuets'' (twenty-year old youths) were under fire for 
the first time, in contact with their seasoned \"ei-(lun comrades, they fought 
\d\h splendid dash. Aftir scaling the craggy slopes east of Curlu village, 
many of them waved their handkei-chiefs to cries of '" I'/'v la France ! " 

Up to the middle in the foul Somme mud wliich at times forced the men 
out of the trenches into the open, in spite of the shells and bullets, the .Allied 
troops accpiirc^l the morale of \'ictory, while tlie High Command gainetl and 
kept the initiative. 




GKUMAN TANK CArmU;!) IIY TMK N K\V ZKALANDKRS 
miUMl TIIK AI.MKl) DKl'KNSIVK OF I'.IIS. 

Extracted J lom the Michelin Ouiil Iiii; Skconip I'.ATir.K cpf tmk Sommk (HI18) 



31 



A VISIT TO TJIE SOMME HATTLKFIELDS. 



FIRST DAY. 



AMIENS-ALBERT THIEPVAL BAPAUME. 



In/, iqw^- Thillmf 




,>r J ^5:^1, ijy \-Le.Crarui/ 

Kf y^^^« OOl-SSOfilV 



132 luJometres 



In — 



^ar I court/ 



ITINEBARY FOR THE FIRST DAY. 




Leave Amiens //// Ihe Boulevard (T Alsace-Lorraine, in 
front of the station, on the left. Beyond the cemetery, take 
N. 29 to Albert, oh the right. 

Eleven kilometres heifond Amiens, Pont-Noyclles is 
passed throwjh. This village was made famous by tlie san- 
guinary, indecisive battle fought there on December 23, 
1870, between the French and Germans. To the left of 
the road, just outside the village, a monument com- 
memorates the battle. 

Tiventy-eight kilometres beyond Amiens, N. 29 enters 
Albert. 




PANORAMIC VIEW OF ALBERT, AS SEEN 



ALBERT. 

The prosperous, industrial town of Albert, whose population before the 
war numbered more than 7,000 inhabitants, is to-day entirely in ruins. 

Lying at the foot of a hill, on l)oth sides of tlie I'iver Ancre, Albert 
formerly went by the nanic of Ancre. 

At the beginning of the seventeenth century Albert belonged to Coneini, 
the favourite niiiiislcr of Marie de Medicis. but after his downfall in KilO 
it became the property of Charles d Albert, Duke of Luynts, \\ho gave it 
his name. 



Albert during; the War 

When, after the lirst I'attle of llir Marne, 
the front advanced northwards, tlu- (Iciinans 
tried on several occasions to break through 
the I'^rcMch lines before Albert. 

h'icrce lighting took jdace in the iiniui'diate 
vicinity of the town at the end of S»'|)tcndn r', 
1914, especially on the 29th, and in October and 




83 



L;i I5ois3ell2 
Hill. 



G.C. 52. 




ON ENTERING THE TOWN. {Sce sJictcll, ^). 32.) 



November. The Germans were repulsed with heavy losses, but succeeded 
in entrenching themselves strongly quite close to the city, and barred the 
Albert-Bajiaiime road (N. 29) to the north-east, in front of La Boisselle 
and the Albert-Peronne road, in front of Fricourt. 

The shelling of the town began on September 29, 1914, and continued 
unceasingly until it had been annihilated. The numerous iron and steel 
works, mechanical workshops, sugar factories and brick-kihis, which had 
contributed to the jirospcrity of the town, were specially smgled out by the 
enemy artillery. No public building, not exceptmg the civilian hospital, 
was spared. In spite of the Red Cross Hag which floated over the hospital, 
the Germans, with the help of an aeroplane, directed a violent artillery hre 
upon it on March 21, 1915, kilUng live aged mmates and woundmg several 
others, as well as the Superior. 

In October, 1910, Albert was at last out of range of the German guns. 

But in 1918 the British were unable to withstand the overwhclmmg 
German thrust, except on the west of the town, and the latter fell into the 
hands of the enemy on March 26, after desperate fighting. Albert remained 
in the hi'st enemy lines until August 22, wlien the Bi'itish coiniter-ofTensive, 
which was destined to clear the whole district — this tinu> dclinitely — was 
launched. The British entered the town in the early morning of August 22- 

c 



34 




.. . ■■' ''*Ih1 





ALBERT CHURCH IN APRIL, I'JIT. 

A Visit to the Ruins The Basilica 

Arriving hi/ the Eve iV Amiens, fouristd iriU see the cascade, on the right 
behind a ruined factorv. 




i inii' ^^H '«- 



Al.l'.KIlT CIILUCll I.N I'Jl'J. 



35 




RUINED WOUKS ON KIVER ASCRE, AND CASCADE. 



Follow the Bur fVAmien-': lo Ihe Phirr (VArmes, in which stand the ruiiis of 
the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Brebiere. Before the war as many as 
80,000 people made: ])Ilgrimages to tliis basilica yearly, to see the ancient 
statue of the Virgui, discovered in the neighbourhood by a shepherd, in the 
Middle-x4.ges. 

The church — a brick-and-stone construction in the Roman-Byzantine 
style — A\'as built at the end of the nineteenth century. The brick belfry, 
over 200 feet high, was surmounted by a copper dome, on which stood a 
gilt statue of the Virgin, sixteen feet high, with the infant Jesus in her out- 
stretched arms. The body of the church measured 27(5 feet in length and 
68 feet in height, and was very richly decorated. 

The church was spared by the first bombardments, on account of two 
spies who, hidden in the top of the tower, made signals to the Germans, but 
as soon as they had been discovered and shot, the chiu'ch became a target 
for the enemy artillery. The walls of the fa9ade soon showed large gaps 
in many places. The roof fell in and the belfry was badly damaged, especially 
on the south side. A shell struck the toji of the dome and burst against 
the socle of the statue of the Virgin. The base gave way, but did not 
entirely collapse, and the statue overturning remained suspended in mid-air 
{photo, p. 34). 

For several years the statue remained in this precarious position, and 
there was a saying that '" the war would end Avhen the Virgin Statue of Alliert 
would fall." 

The bombardments m the spring of 1918 completed the ruin of the church. 
Not only did the belfry collapse, carrying in its fall the statue of the Virgin, 
but all the upper structure which had until then resisted, fell do\\n, so that 
to-day the immense building is a shapeless heap of stones, IniclsS and dihris 
pf all kinds {photo, p. 34). 



36 




LA BOISSELLE. 



THE SIGN IS ALL THAT EEMAINS OF 
THE VILLAGE. 



Leave Albert by the Eve de Bapaume, then take N. 20 irhicJi climbs La Bois- 
selle Hill. 2 Im. beyond Albert there is a large cemetery on. the right. The 
site of Boisselle village (completely destroyed) is reached 2 hm. further on. 



The Mine Warfare at La Boisselle 

III October, 1914, the front line became fixed, ^\•est of this village. 



A 



fierce trench-to-trench struggle continued throughout 1915, when it developed 
into ceaseless, desperate mine warfare. 

At the end of December, 1914, the French captured that part of La 
Boisselle which lies south of the church. German counter-attacks, launched 
almost daily, failed to drive them out. On January 17, 1915, after a violent 
bombardment, the French were compelled to withdraw from that corner 
of the liamlct, but the next day they succeeded in re-occupying the still 
smoking ruins. 

These attacks and counter-attacks had brought the German and Frencli 
trenches so close together that it became imjiossiljle to fight in the o}ien. 
The struggle was therefore continued undergromid. On both sides sub- 
terranean galleries were bored under the 0])])osing trenches, generally to a 
depth of 20 to 20 feet. Mine-chambers, filled \\ith chedditc. at the end of 
the galleries, were fired electrically. In the ensuing u])hea\al the trenches 
entirely disajijK'ared, giving place to huge craters, for the possession of the 
edges of which bitter hand-to-hand fighting followed. 




BRITISH CEHLKXiOliy, HETWIiKN ALHKUT AND LA BOISSELLE, 
ON THE lliailT. 



nl 



During the night oi l<'('l)i'uary fi, 
1915, the Germans fired three mines 
in the southei'ii part of La Boisselle 
occu])i('(l by the I<"reneh, and cap- 
tured the craters, but were unable 
to debouch from tlicm. 'I'he next 
day a spirited Fr(>nch counter- 
attack di'ovc tliem back. 

The cominiiniiiui's of liMf) ni(>n- 
lion many feats of tliis kind, and 
to-day the traces which still remain 
of this ferocious struggle attest its 
extreme viok-nce. 

On each side of tlie Albert - 
Bapaumc road, opposite La Bois- 
selle viHage, huge craters form an 
ahnosl continuous hne. 

The largest crater lies on the 
right. It has a diameter of about 
200 feet and a depth of 81 feet. 
British graves lie at the bottom 

{photo 02)X>osite). 

This mine warfare procured no 
appreciable advantage to either 
side. 




BRITISH GRAVES IN THE GREAT MINE 
CRATER AT LA BOISSELLE. 



Fresh defences were immediately made on the edge of or near the new 
craters, in place of those which had been wiped out, and the front line 
remained practically unchanged until the offensive of the iSomme. 

On July \, 1910, the British rushed the German trenches in front of 
La Boisselle and Ovillers, giving rise to a fierce engagement. After two daj^s 
of incessant hghting the whole of La Boisselle village was captured. A 
battalion of the Prussian Guard made a desperate resistance at Ovillers, the 
survivors — 124 men and 2 officers— sunendering only on July 17. 



^^..^>A■\ 




^^ 



MINE 

CRATKR 
AT LA 

UOISISELLE. 



^^- 




38 




:f A NOR AM A 



'^Pierre'I>wtm\/ 



153 



"^L^^uepval 






Poxieres 



OinZLej 



Leave La Boisselle on the right, 
and take N. 29. 

Ten yards from milestone ''Albert 
5 km. 4," take the left-hand road to 
Ovillers (600 ijards distant). Of 
tliis village not a wall remains 
standing. 

The road turns to the left and 
crosses the village, in which numer- 
ous shelters and military works can 
still be seen. 

Outside Ovillers, on the right, 
there is a large cross, erected by the 
British in memory of their fallen 
comrades of the 12th Division. A 
little further on, there is a British 
cemetery on the same side of the 
road. 

The road turns to the right, then descends steephj to the Ancre marshes. 
Cross these by the footbridge built by the Army Engineers, to Aveluy village on 
the opposite side. 

Of this \illage, only a few walls remain standing, among wl\ich are 
numerous military works. 

On leaving Aveluy, the road crosses the railway. Take the road on the right 
immediately after. 




Follow the marshy valley of the Ancre vpstream. 



Ilill UC. 



St. Pierre! )ivion. 



Thiepval. 




I'ANOUAMIC VIKW OK Tin; VA1,I,KY OF Till', ANCIIK, AS SEEN 



89 




THE AXCRE MABSHES, IN FRONT OP THE RUINS OF AVELUY. 



The road crosses Aveluy Wood, the trees of which are cut to pieces. 

2 Ji)ii. 500 hryoiul Avclii.y, before tlie fovh witlithc road to Mesnil, there is a 
British cemetery on the ricjht. 

On leaving the wood, follow the railway to the ruins of Hamel village. Before 
entering, note the British cemetery on the left. 

Opi^osite, on the crest of the hill, on the left banli of the Ancre, is Thiepval 
Wood, cut to pieces by the shells. The view of the Ancre Valley from here is 
most imjiressive {photo l)elow). 



Ancre 

Marshes. 



Albert 
Arras Hy. Alliert. 







H:imel 


Aveluy 


G.C. 


Mesnil. (liehinil 


Wood. 


50. 


crest, 




\ 




OA w % ^ ^ 






-iss^:: 




ON LEAVING HAMEE FOR BEAUCOUET-SUR-ANCRE. 



40 



'^Scrrc 



\BeaujrLOnt -Hamel 



The British Operations in the Ancre Sector 

During the first months of the offensive of 1916, the Germans, installed 
on the top of the slopes which dominate both banks of the river, resisted 
successfully in the Ancre sector. On tlie east, they occupied the \\hole of 
the Thiepval Plateau (maximum altitude, 540 feet), which they transformed 
into a veritable fortress. To the west, after crossing the Ancre below the 
hamlet of St.-Pierre-Divion, their trenches ran in front of the high ground of 
Beaumont-Hamel (Hill 135) and Serre (Hills 14.3 and 141). From these 
elevated points they dominated the British positions, which is why the 
British, before attacking, were forced to take the Thiepval Ridge (end of 
September, 1916). This enabled them to take the German intrenchments in 
the rear. 

On November 13, 1916, the attack wa> launched under very unfavourable 
weather conditions. The ground was sodden, and a thick fog hid everything 
from view, in spite, however, of the five successive lines of trenches which 
protected the enemy positions, the British first captured the hamlet 

of St.-Pierre-Divion, then, three 
hours afterwards, the fortress of 
Beaumont. 

In 1918, the German thn:st 
broke down, as in 1914, on the 
banks of the Ancre. Caught in the 
swampy ground, they were unable 
to establish themselves strongly on 
the heights of the -western l)ank. 
Leavmg advanced posts only in the 
valley, with strong patrols, they 
re-occupied their old entrenched 
positions ; but with the ground in 
such a state of upheaval, a pio- 
longed resistance there was im- 
possible. 

The (Jermans were unable to 
prevent the British, on August 22, 
1918, from crossing the Ancre near 
Aveluy and carrying, within forty- 
eight hoin's. the Thiepval and Beau- 
mont Heights, against which llieir 
{>iTorts had so long been unsuc- 
cessful. 
The road pusucs the rallwaij slallon o/ Bcaumont-Hamci. Tiic inipoitaiit 
market town of this name (1 Ian. 500 beyond the station) is now a mere heap 
of chaotic^ ruins. 

The rei)()it ot tiie i']n(|uiry Commission appoinlctl by the French Govern- 
iniut, contains the following: — 

''On Oclohrr 12, 1914, an aeroplane flew over Br<niinonl -TTaviel. The 
Germans preteiuled that ttvo ivomen {Mine, liousscl and Mine. Fluiiienl) 
signalled to the aeroplane, the first-named hij leading a red horse and a white 
horse into hrr yard, the neeond wonmn hy dix/ilfiying a large piece of cloth- 
stuff'. 'I'Ik f (iris (ire. : Mine. Fldimiil hud aim ply used her liniulkrre]iirj\<iiiil 
Mme. Houssel, in the absence of Iter iiioliilised linshaiid, having to attend to 
their large farm, had led two Jtorses into tlie yard, to facilitate the cleaning 
of the stable. 

" Togellnr with other inJialiitants of the village leho were under arrest for 
similar futile mot ires, Mme. Uoussel and Mine. Flament were questioned by 




Hamel 



^^hxepoal 



F")^du Mouqtiet 



41 




:.^3^ 






/^' 



>*«*?' 



t-«t» 



ms 



:^L^ 



BifiAUMONT-HAMEL, WHERE THK CHUKCH USED TO STAND. 



the officer attached to the Colonel commanding the 110th Infantry liefjiment. 
After having ordered them to confess their gnilt, this officer loas ■partieularhj 
infitriatcd against Mme. Flament, and j^romised, the others that their lives 
should be sjyared if they ivoi{ld denounce her. He had a j^ersonal grievance 
against the woman. A feio days before he had ashed, her for champagne 
ivine, and she had re-plied that she had not any, but. on h ariiig the house, he 
noticed that some of his men had wine and, believi)ig that slie had moched 
him, he had indulged in violent reproaches. 

" In spite of the danger, the brave ivomen replied that they preferred to 
die rather than accuse an innocent person. Exasperated by their resistance, 
the German allowed thou three minutes for reftection, and then had them 
placed against the luallof the church. While his soldiers covered the women 

rvith their rifles, he counted, ^ one, two ,' t]ien,in the belief that this sham 

execution had terrorized the defenceless women, he allowed them half an 
hour's respite aiul sent them hack to the Town Hall. At the expiration of 
this delay he again pressed them with questions, seized two sums of money 
{one of 776 francs, the other of 1,345 francs, ivhich Mme. Roussel and 
Mme. Flament, believing that their last hour had come, had requested a 
friend to hand over to their families), threatened in a fit of rage to have 
Mme. Flament buried alive, and ordered all the persons under arrest to 
swear that theyivere innocent. At the last moment, the courage to carry out 
this abo)uination failed hi)n, and he sent the tiuforlunate uujnien bach to 
Mme. BousseVs house. Here they were ivatched until Oetohrr 28, and H)ere 
then sent to Cambrai witJi the other inhabitants mho had been held as 
hostages, because they were unable to pay the ivhole of iJie war contribution of 
8,000 francs wJiieJi had been set ?/j)o» the district.'^ -^Report of December 8, 
1915, page 22, Vol. V. 

One Idlometre beyond the station of Jieaucourt-Hamel the road crosses 
tlie village of Beaucourt, where not a single wall remains standing 
{see shetch-map, p. 40). 



42 



It was on November 13, 1910, that the British, after capturing Beaumont- 
Hamel, carried Hill No. 135, between Beaumont and Beaucourt, and reached 
the outskirts of Beaucourt. The entire village was occupied the next day. 

But the approaching ^^'inter and continuous bad weather did not allow 
them to exploit their success. In the operations of the previous two days, 
they had been greatly hami^ered by the deeji sticky mud through ■which, in 
places, the men had had to advance up to their ^\'aists. It wns there- 
fore decided to make the new positions their ^\inter quarters. 

The cessation of the offensive did not, however, mean inaction. From 
Xovember, 1916, to the end of January, 1917, raids were mcessantly carried 
out in the enemy trenches. 

Early in February, 1917, a violent and incessant bombardment was the 
forerunner of fresh attacks. From February 8 onwards, the British made 
considerable progress along the Beaucoui't-Miraumont road. 

After Uaving Beaucourt, keep alo)i(/ this rood. A great heap of red bricks, 
on the right, by the side of the river Ancre, is all that remains of Baillescourt 
Farm, the defence-works of which were captured on February 8, 1917. 

A few days later, the British reached the outskkts of the huportant 
jJOsition of Miraumont. 



JHUAlMiiXT. 

lUINED CIIUKtH 

ON THK LEFT. 




This large village was divided by tlie Anci-e and the Albei't-Arras railway, 
the village proper being situatetl on the north bank. The smaller agglomera- 
tion of houses lying on the south bank, knoAvn as Petit-]\liraiimont, A\as the 
first to fall into the liaiids of the Britisli, after des])erate lighting. The 
a])proachcs to I'etit-.Miraumoiit had beeu covered witli successixc lines of 
trenches, bristling with barbed wire entanglements, redoubts and conciete 
blockhouses foi' machine-guns. All these ]iositi()ns had to be carried one by 
one. The village itself was only ca])tui'e(l on February L'4. 1917. 

Two days later, iMirauinont-le-drand. defended only l>y a I'car^nard 
company and a section of niachine-guiuieis, was (>asily cairicd by (he British. 
This marked the Ix'ginning of thc^ "strategical withdrawal'" which, the 
following' montli, ended with the caittni'c of l'>a|iauinc, Aliranmont (7 km. to 
the west) ln-in^^ one of its ad\ance fortress's. 

Lost again in the following year, Miranmonl was one of the few jiositions 
>vhich i\w (Jerinans fiercely <I<-fended at (he time of the British counter- 
olTensiv(! of August, l!t|S.' They tried all they knew to sto]) the Urilish 
advance on Bapaume at this |»oint. The li;;ht lasted all day on August l'4, 
and the (iermaii retii-ement be^'an only after the ca|)tnre of (Jrandcourt and 
Thiepval (on the south) and of Irles and Loujjart VVood (on the north-east) 



43 



threatonod thorn with com])leto 
eaic'irck'iueut. That night, a strong 
detachment of British troojis 
slip])od into the fortified ruins ot 
the village, held by picked macliine- 
gunnei'«. A Herce struggk' follo\\'ed 
in the dark. At daybreak tlu 
(German gari'ison attejnptcd a 
soi'tie, and sueceeded in encircling 
the Bi'itish tletachnients. However, 
a British aeroplane, which was 
hovering over the scene of the 
sti-uggle, signalled that reinfoi'ce- 
ments were coming, and finally the 
(jiermans were encircled, and 
several hundreds of them taken 
prisoners. 

After the fights of 191G, Miirau- 
mont was one of the least damaged 
of the reconquered villages. Many 
of the houses retained parts of 
their walls, and some their frame- 
Mork, though m a dislocated con- 
dition. To-day nothing remains. 
Of the mock^rn church which used 
to stand on the higliest ])oint of 
the village, only a fragment of wall 

remains {/ihnto, it. 42). On the right, in the devastated cemetery which 
suri'ounds the church, stands a massive stone monument, erected by the 
Gennans before their retreat of 1917 {photos, above and below). 

At the entrance to Miraumont, take the Conrcelette road on the right, ivhich 
crosses the marshes, tJieii passes under the railivaij bridfje and afterwards 
traverses the site of Fetit-Miraumont (now razed). It next elinibs the hitl 
on the left haith of the Ancre. Leave the road to Pijs on the left, and keep 
straight on to Courcelette. Numerous shelters, trenches and British and 
German graves may be seen along the road. 

The village of Courcelette was taken by the British during the oSensive 
of Septembej- 15, 1916. 




GERMAN MONUMKNT IN FUONT OP 
MIEAUMONT CHURCH (I'JIT). 




MIRAUMONT. 
KUINS OK 
CHUKCH AND 
GERMAN 
MONUMENT 

{\dl^— see above). 



44 




THE BRITISH OFFENSIVE OF 
SEPTEMBER 15, 1916. 

The First Tanks 

The British objective Avas Cour- 
celette, IMartinpuich and the neigh- 
bouring heights which protected 
the Bapaiime Plateau {sec p- 22). 

The offensive began on Sep- 
tember 15, along a front of about 
six miles, from the neighbourhood 
of Combles to the trenches before 
Pozic'res. 

In a few hours, the infantry, 
preceded in its advance by im- 
pas5able artillery barrages, carried 
Martinjniich and the small hills 
which dominate it. Other detach- 
ments captured Courcelette on the 
left. 

The fighting was particularly 



MIRAUMONT. BRITISH GRAVES IN FRONT 
OF CHURCH. 

desperate before Courcelette. The first tv/o assault- 
ing waves broke against the double line of enemy 
trenches, flanked by redoubts and salients armed 
with mortars and machine-guns. Further artillery 
preijaration was necessary, and it was only at 
nightfall that the Canadians were able to enter 
the village. A tank immediately set about dealing 
the streets. 

It was in this offensive that tanks were used for 
the first time, to the great disluiljance of the 
enemy's morale. 

At Martinpuich they crushed down the \\alls 
which were still standing, and behind whicli 
machine-guns were hidden. 





cdi uci;i.i;tti:. am. iiiat is i.i;i t ok tiiI'; (.'im kcii. 



45 




MABT1>;PU1CH. TUK CHUliCH USKD TO STA]SD HKKE. 

One tank A^ent for the fortified sugar factory in front of Courcelette 
village, knocked down the walls, crushed the numerous machine-guns hidden 
behind them, destroyed all the defence-works and quickly overcame the 
enemy's resistance. 

On leaving Courcelette, take N. 29 on the rigid toioards Pozieres mid Thiepval 
{see shetch-map, p. 44). 

On the right of the roml stioul the I'uins of a large sugar factory with a. 




BRITISH TANK BETWEEN COURCELETTE AND N. 29. 



46 



THE SUGAR 

KEFINERV 

BETWEEN 

COCRCE- 

LETTE AND 

POZIERES 




GERMAN OBSERVATION -POST OP CONCRETE, 
IN THE ENGINE-ROOM. 

concrete observation-post. Fnrtlier on, also to the rigJtf, there is a cross 
erected by the British. 

B'fore rmdnncj Poziires, N. 29 passes over Hill KiO. The windmill which 
formerly stood there has disa])peared. 

From the top of Hill 160, which dominates the A\hole district, there is an 
extensive view in the direction of Bai)aumo. To keep this observation-post, 
the Germans transformed Pozil-res into a fortress defended by more than 
200 machine-guns. 

After capturing Ovillers-la-Boissclle and advanchig little by little along 
the National road as far as the outskirts of Pozicres, the Jiritish attacked 
on July 23, 191G, but only at midnight were they able to get a footing in the 
village. Throughout the night and the two following days, the iightang ^^^^^{ 
on with imibated fury. It was only on July 20 that the (Icimans Wiw 
d(^!initively driven from the northern part of the village, and the fortilicd 
cemetery, and a few days later from the windmill on Hill 160. 




t 




iiHiTisn CU08S. Jii front: ovkktuhned tank. 



47 




#. 



*v-v, 






i'-jfe*; 



POZIERES. GEllMAN OBSEKVATION-rOST. 

Violent counter-attacks were made in August, liquid fire being used in 
some cases. These attacks Avere particularly tierce to the north-Avest of the 
village and in the vicinity of the windmill, on the night of August 16, when 
six assaulting Avaves Avero broken by the British artillery barrage-tire. 

When tliis furiou.s struggle died doA\n, nothing Avas left of the \allage. 
Its site, comijletely IcTclled and upturned, is noAV indistinguishable from the 
surrounding country — formerly fruitful tields of corn and beet, to-day a 
chaotic Avaste of shell-holes. 

A German observation-post of concrete is seen on the right, and another, 
less damaged, Avith very deep shelters (j^hoto below), also on the rujlit. On. 
leaving the village, oOO ijanls farther on, to the right, there is a large Bi-itish 
cemetery. 

1)1 the village of Poziere's, the road to Tliiejwal, whicli branches off to 
tlbe right, is only passable for about 1 km. 500. From tJiis jJoiiit tlie tourist 
should go on foot to Thiepval. 




I'UZIERKS. GKKMAN OBSKUNAXiU^ -i'UbT. 



48 




VarfmpiacJt 



Y/LU/JlJZ/lle\ 



w 



, ^iir Pozirres 

,(t^5a 



The Capture of Thiepval by the British 

Situated on a plateau surrounded by hills, Thiepval had been transformed 
into a veritable fortress. Since September, 1914, the Wurtemburger 180th 
Regiment had been garrisoned there, and made it a point of honour to hold 
the place at all cost. For twenty months, formidable defence-works had 
been made ; redoubts, blockhouses and concrete vaulted shelters, built on 
the surrounding high ground, formed a continuous, fortified line around the 
village. Inside, a labyrinth of trenches, connected by subterranean passages, 
linked up with strong points and to bombardment-proof shelters. 

The British were forced to lay siege to the place. The oi^erations, begun 
on July .3, 1916, lasted till October. 

On July 7, the British carried the greater part of the Leipzig Redoubt 
(Hill 141), a powerful stronghold \\hich protected Thiejival from the south, 
and consisting of a system of small blockhouses connected up by a network 
of trenches. A wide breach opened by the artillery, enabled the troops to 
gain a footing in the position and conquer it trench by trench. 

Throughout the months of July and August the struggle went on, with 
unabated fury, around the fortress. Fighting with grenades, the British 
advanced inch by inch, so to speak, and eventually gained a footing in the 
village, to the east and south. Each advance \\as immetliatel^' followed by 
a violent counter-attack, as the fJermans looked on Thiejival as the key of 
the Bapaume position. 

On August 20, in particular, the Prussian (iuard attacked the British 
lines of the Leip/.ig Salient, 'i'he strugtilc was one of "giants." After 
furious hand-to-hand lighting, the Wiltshire and Worcestershire Regiments 
broke the assaulting waves and inflicted " frightful '" losses on the enemy. 
At no point were the British jiosilions pierced ; on the contrar}-, ju'ogress 
continued to the south and south-east. 

On Septcmlicr 1.5, the A ustialians captured .MoikiimI I'ariii whidi. on (lie 
right, formed the advance-iiastimi of the fortress. 

Thiepval was nf)W fomplet<'iy surrounded from soiith (o e<ist. and after 
a last artillery preparation of extreme violence, the linal assault was made. 



49 



At 12.30 a.m., on September 25, the Canadians attacked the castle and 
southern ])art of the village, one of the strongholds of the fortress. After 
fierce tighting, which lasted two hours, they captured the dcfcnce-ANorks, 
being helped by the tanks which, crushing everything before them, destroyed 
the nests of machine-guns hidden on all sides. 

The battle went on throughout the following day in the village, the cellars 
of which were connecttxl with one another and foi'tihed, forming so many 
nests of machine-guns. Detachments of Wurtembergei's ^\ho, by means of 
underground passages, had slijiped behind the Canadians, were either 
exterminated or captured. In the evening, the cemetery, which foinu-d 
the centre of resistance in the northern part of the \illage, \\as cairicd. 
Thiepval was thus entirely conquered, as well as the Zollcrn Kedoubt, \\hi(h 
dominates it on the east. 

The British followed u}) their success by attacking the fortified iiositions 
to the north and north-east, on the line of hills which dominate the Valley 
of the Ancre near Grandcoiu't, where the Germans had also made formidable 
entrenchments, comprising the .Stulf Redoubt (to the north-east), the Schw aLen 
Redoubt (to the north), and between the two, asti-ide of the Thiepval-Grand- 
court road (G.C. 151), the Hesse Trench. Behind these, in the direction 
of Grandcourt, the ShifE and Regina Trenches, likewise powerfully organised, 
formed a second line of entrenchments. 

From September 27 to October 1, the fighting was bitter and incessant, 
both redoubts and the Hesse Ticnch changing hands several times. Finally, 
the Bi'itish I'cmained masters of these positions, but were afterwards held by 
the following trenches— the Shiif and Regina — to ^\•hich they had to lay siege. 
Progress was very alow, in spite of incessant grenade fighting, and ^\•hen winter 
arrived, they had not yet conquered the whole of these trenches. 




THE UUINS Oi" THIEPVAL. 



50 




'**Sf 



WHEl 



^-«"!- 
>•'•- 

y - 


:a 


bk. 


A" 












_vr ui 


,.. 






a. L sED TO bTAXU. 



The recapture of the Thiepval Plateau by the Germans at tlie cud of 
March, 1918, did not give rise to any important engagement, no special eti'ort 
being made to defend it. In the same way, it is said that when the British 
finally drove out the Germans a few months later (August 24, 1918), they did 
not lose a single man. 

Everything was pounded to bits by the shells. Of the one-time flourishing 
village, nothing remains. A shapeless mass of broken stones marks the site 
of the Castle {photo above). The place has become a desolate waste overrun 
with weeds and grass. Here and there traces of the defence-works : redoubts, 
trenches, etc., and the graves of British and German soldiers, conjure uji visions 
of the bloody struggle which took place there. 

Return to Pozieres, take again N. 29 on the left, towards Baimume. 




KUINS OF SABS VILLAUE. N. 29 NEAK BAPACME. 



51 



l,JtW 




SARS. EUI>"S OF GEE5IAX MONUMENT I^ CEMETERY OX 
THE RIGHT OF N. 29. 

Five kilometres beyond Pozieres. Sars, icliich stood on both sides of the high 
road, is reached {photo, p. 50). It was taken on October 7, 1916. by the British, 
who advanced beyond it, but were then held, as in spite of repeated assaults the 
Geiinans had maintained themselves on the Warlencomt Eidge (Hill 122), 
to the east, which dominates the whole district. 

Sars is the nearest village to Bapaume, taken by the British in the course 
of their offensive of 1916. It was about 9 km. from their trenches (in front 
of La BoisseUe), and 6 km. this side of the first houses of Bapaume. In 1918, 
on the contrary, it took the British only three days to cross the strip of 
groimd, 7 km. A^de, wliich separated their starting trenches from Le Sars 
village, captured on August 25. 

Sars was wiped out. At tlie entrance, m a small shell-torn wood on the 
right, are the remains of a C4erman cemeter\-, completely devastated. The 
base of a German monument can still be seen {photo above). 

Continue along X. 29 for about 1 km. beyond Sars; 150 yards to the right, 
Warlencourt Ridge stands out. Go there on foot. 




SARS. A CHINESE CAMP. 



52 



WARLENCOCRT 
RIDGE, SEEN 
FROM N. 29. 




Warlencourt Ridge 

Warlencoui't Ridge is as tragically famous iii the British Army as the 
Mort-Homme is for tlioir French comrades-in-arms. 

From the top of Hill 122, the last before Bapaume, the view embraces 
the whole region, renoAMied for the battles fought before the town first in 
the Franco-German War (1871) and then forty-six years later (1917-lS). 
At the foot of the ridge lies the ruined village of Ligny-Thilloy ; to the right, 
on the sky-line, accumulations of stones and rubbish, the suburbs of 
Bapaume ; on the left, the remains of Loupart Wood, and, behind, a few 
broken \\alls, all that is left of the village of tirevilkrs. 

The ground was everywhere cut up -with trenches and defence-works, 
to destroy which a terrific jiovuiding by the artillery was necessary. Not a 
single square yard cscaijed the deluge of shells, the destruction being as complete 
as it was methodical. Of the trenches, which were levelled before the fighting 
proper be^gan, practically only traces i-enrain. The -woods, turned into 
fortresses, have likewise vanished, only shapeless tree-stumps being left. 
The villages were I'azed to their very foundations. 

As far as the eye can reach, nothing is s<mmi but a chaotic \\astc patched 
here and there with weeds and rank grass. Jn places, vt^stiges of the ancient 
I)arhed wire entanglements, which overran the ground in all diiections. aro 
met with. These \\ere so numerous that the guns could not entirely tlestroy 
them, but wide gaps were made through which the attacking waves forced 
their way. 

The Warlencourt Kidge proper consists of two superimposed eminences : 



KNTHANCE 

Ti> THE 

rM)Klt(iltiilNl) 

IiEI'ENiE^. 




53 



1 




i WARLENCOnRT 
iKIDGK, SOUTH 
SIMK. 



a bare plateau about tA\'o-tliirds of a mile in. -width — now covered with 
graves — and a chalky shell-torn hillock, which was the centre of the 
German position. 

Pierced \\ith subterranean galleries, furrowed with several successive 
lines of trenches, surrounded by a triple belt of entrenchments bristluig with 
barbed wire entanglements and flanked at every angle by redouljts ^\■ith 
innumerable mortars and machine-guns, such was the ridge which, ]ik(> an 
impregnable fortress, faced the British trenches throughout the A\inter of 
1916-17. 

Several times in October and November, 1916, the British endeavoured to 
carry the position, but each time their attacks failed agamst the formidable 
defences. Only on February 25, 1917, did they succeed in taking it, after a 
feint attack on the rear-guards, which were protecting the ^\•ithdra^val of 
the German main forces. 

In 1917, the British erected five large crosses on the toji of the ridge in 
memory of the units which took j^art in the assaults of 1916. 

After ri siting W (trie n court Ridge, ret urn to N. 29, along wJiich continue to 
Bapaume (5 lci)l.). 




THE TOP OF 
TIIK RIDGK. 




54 




BAPAL'ME. BRITISH TANKS IN THE SUBURB OP ARRAS. 



BAPAUME. 

Situated on the road of invasion, at the intersection of the highways 
leading to Amiens, Arras, Cambrai and Soissons, Bapaume, in the course of 
past centuries, was sevei-al times besieged, destroyed or plundered. The town 
dates from the early Middle-Ages, and owes its origin to a fortified Castle 
built at the exit of the immense Arrouaise Forest, which at that time extended 
from the Ancre to the Sambre, and was infested by robbers and cut-throats. 
Mention of this pai'ticularity is found in an eleventh century heroic poem 
" En Aroaise a mauvaise ripaille." 




llAl'AUME. TUK ItUH u'AKUAS, BKKN KllOM THK I'l.ACK I'A 1 l;]l KIU'.H 



55 



Under the protection of the Castle, the town grew rapidly, and soon 
became an important city, made wealthy by the trading between France and 
Flanders. Conquered by Louis XL, it afterwards fell into the hands of the 
Si)aniards, and was transformed into a fortified town by Charles (^lint. 
J'ocapturi'd by Francis I., it was lost again, and retaken only in l(i41. 
Several years later, the Treaty of the Pyi-enees (1659) ceded it definitely 
to France. 



Bapaume in 1917 

Utilising the ruins around and inside the town, the Germans had built 
very strong lines of defences at short distances, one behind the other, and 
])i-eceded by deep barbed wire entanglements. But after the captun; on 
March ll-KJ, 1917, of Louppart Wood and Crevillers, west of Bapaume — 
the only village in the district, \\hose houses and roofs were j^ractically 
intact — the British were masters of all the crests of the Bapaume Plateau, 
and encircled the town so closely from north to south, that the Oeimans 
decided not to defend the latter, in spite of the powerful defences which they 
had accumulated. Before withdrawing, they destroyed the trenches, 
devastated the entire district, set death-traps ever\^vhere, stretched chains, 
connected with mines, across the roads and paths, and set tire to the 
shelters, etc. 

Neither the destructions nor the companies of machine-gunners which 
were left behind as rear-guards could stop the British, who occupied Bapaume 
on ]\Iarch 17, 1917, while the fires lighted in the town by the Germans were 
still burning. 




BAl'AUME. THE PLACE FAIDHEBBE. 



56 



Bapaume in 1918 

Whereas, in 1917, the British 
captured Bapaume by a frontal 
attack, they retook the town in 
August, 1918, by a -wide turning 
movement. 

As early as August 24, the New 
Zealanders of General Byng's Army, 
after carrying Louppart Wood, 
reached Avesnes-les-Bapaume, one 
of the suburljs of the towna. The 
next day they advanced beyond 
the Bapaume-Arras road, and on 
the 27th conquered Beugnfitre 
(o km. north-east of Bapaume). 
The town Avas furthermore sur- 
rounded on the south by the 
capture of Warlencourt Ridge. 
Unable to hold out any longer, 
the Germans evacuated or set fire 
to the immense stores in the town. 

On the 29th, the Welsh and N 
across the suburbs before nightfall, a 
on the ruins of the Town Hall. 





ST. NICOLAS CHURCH, HIFOHE THE WAH. 



THE HOTEL-DE-VILLE, BEFORE THK WAR. 



cw Zealand troops fought their way 
ml hoisted the British and French flags 



Destruction of Bapaume 

Bapaume, whose iiopulatiou 
numbered about 3,001) inhabitants 
before the war, was systematically 
and totally destroyed in 1917. 
Not a house was spared, 'i'hose 
which were not hit bj' the shells, 
were either mined or burnt. All 
the works, factories, sugar- 
refineries, tanneries and ])ul)lic 
buildings were luiucd. When tlic 
British entered the town, the 
streets weni blocked with rubbish 
of all kinds. Traces of the tar, 
liy means of wliicli llic liics had 
1)1(11 lit, were still vi..il)l(' on 1 he 
])arliully burnt timber-work. Here, 
as everywhere else, the destructions 
hid been ])rei'eded by inclhodical 
jiillaL'ing. 

The bomliardnicnts and lighting 
of I9IS coinideted the destruction 
of the town, which, to(la\', is 
iMitircl\- in iiiins. 



57 




BAPAUME. RUINS OF ST. NICOLAS CHUECH AND BARRACKS. 



VISIT TO BAPAUME. 

Tourists arriving hij Ihe N. 29, otlcr Bapaiitne through the suburb of Arras, 
where, turn to the right. Cross the railway {I.e.), coming out at the Place Faid- 
herbe, via the Rue (V Arras. 

To commemorate General Faidherbe's victory over the Germans near 
Bapaume on January 3, 1871, a bronze statue was erected in the Place 
Faidherbo. This statue was cai-iied off hy the Germans, and A\hen llie British 
entered the town in 1917, tliey found it had mockingly been rejjlaced b}' an 
enormous stove-pipe. 

In the Place Faidherbe, at the corner of the Rue d'Arras, stood the Hotel- 
de-Ville, an interesting building dating from the Hfteenth, sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries, on the ground-floor of which was a jiorch formed by a series 
of arcades. 

In 1917, the Geimans set fire to it, previous to evacuating the town. 
On March 25, one week later, a formidable explosion, caused by a bomb with 
retarded fuse, destroyed all that had been spai'cd by the tire. Two members 
of the French Parliament were found dead under the ruins of the building. 

Take the Rue de Pironne, on the right of the Place, then the Rue de VEglise, 
on the right, which leads to St. Nicholas Church. 

The Church of St. Nicholas was a large fifteenth and sixteenth century 
pile, with three naves, whose ruins to-day are most im])ressive. The belfry 
has completely disap])eared, while all that remains of the body are broken, 
ga])ing fragments of the outside walls, a few pillars of the nave and several 
vaulted bays of the aisles. 

Return to the Buc de Peronne, at the end of tvhich are The Promenades. 
On the right are the ancient ramparts ; a fairly high eminence, near by, Mas 
used as an observation-post for the artillery (pretty view over the town). 



58 




At the end of The Promenades take 
the G.C. 10, on the right. The road 
passes through the villages of Thilloy 



single 



mcludes 



com- 
the 



Gueudccourt ^ 



and Ligny-Thilloy — a 

Diitne,'' which likewise 
village of Barque. 

It was at and around Ligny- 
Thilloy that on January 3, 1871, was 
fouglit the battle of Bapaume. This 
unavaihng "s^ctory of General Faid- 
herbe's forced the Gennans to 
evacuate Bajxiume and begin their 
retreat towards the Sonime. In 
October, 1914, dvu-mg the lighting 
which took place near Tliilloy, the 
Gennans '" compelled a group of some 
ten women and children to stand before 
them and face the French positions, 
then, kneeUng behmd them, they opened 
tire on the French troops " {Beport of 
the Conindssion of Enquiry). 

In 1917, the tighthig in tliis region 
was again m favour of the Allies, a^ on 
February 27-28, after a feeble resist- 
ance, the villages of Baniue, Ligny and 
Thilloy were captured by the British. 

The industrial ajid agricultural 
" Co)nniintc'' of Ligny-Thilloy, which 
had already sull'cred severely during 
the war of 1871, ^\•as completely ruined 
by the late War. 

One Jdloiuetre beyond Ligny, there 
is a mine-crater on the right of the road. 

At the crossing A\ith the Gueudecourt road stands a Iai"ge cross, erectod 
to the memory of the New Zealandei-s who fell around there. Keep straight on 
to Fiers — completely ruined, in May, 1919, two damaged tanks were still 
to be seen at the entrance to the village. 

This was one of the villages captured by the British during their offensive 
of S('i)tember 15, 191G. 

'J he Beport of the Commission of Enquiry contains tJie follozoing :-~- 
" During the first month of the German occupation. ]\I. Delmotte, bakor, 



^jisiLoni^ueva/ 



See plwto below. 



BRITISH CROSS. 

See above sketch- 
map. 




51) 




EUINS OF FLEBS VILLAGE. 



was ordered to supply the enemy -with bread. He complied \\ ith their demands, 
\vitlioiit, however, recei\nng anything in exchange, exceiit requisition forms. 
Some time afterwards, his stock of tlour having run out, he ^\'as forced to 
procure some from Bajiaume at his own expense. The Germans having 
meanwhile taken possession of the mill, it was they who sold him the flour. 
Finding this ari'angement imsatisfactoi'y, he subsequently refused to work 
any longer for the German soldiers unless at least the flour which he had to 
buy were paid for. The Germans, displeased at this, souglit an o]:)portr.nity 
to revenge themselves. On October 14, they ordered Delmotte to hand over 
his fowling-piece, which he did without protesting. Two days later they directed 
him to deliver up his ammunition. Again complying with their rc(juest, he 
handed over a box containing a few cartridges, shell splinters, and t\\ o cartridge 




imiTrSH TANKS 
AT ENTRANCE 
■I'll FLKHS 
\IM,A(iE. 

.MAY, liny. 



60 



iJlLiiHi., nk' !' li|Mil'-^! 





^ 



UELVILLK WOOD. 







iifc ---: 



clips which his son had picked u]) in the fields. He was immediately arrested 
for detaining arms and locked up in his cellar, A\here he was closely watched. 
The next day he was shot in his garden, beside a gi-ave which his murderers 
had dug beforehand." 

Beyond Flers, G.C. 197 — ivhich funns the continuation of G.C. 10 - although 
in hatl condition, is passable ivith careful driving. It crosses a devastated, 
shell-torn region, in which are numerous graves, sheltea-s and gun-emplacoinents. 
Before reaching Longueval, it slirts the western edge of Delvillc Wood, llio 
skeleton remains of which are to be seen on the left. 




•Jill, iJlAll,.-. IKKMII, I)l.i,\ 11,1,1. WUOI). 



61 




GERMAN 
CKMHTKilY, 
liKTWKEN 
IiKI.VIM.E WOOD 
A>il>].ON(iLEVAL. 



Beyond tJie wood, before entering Lo]igiieixiJ, a GcrmSin cemetery \nth £00 
graves is seen on iJie left, necir tlie railieay {pliotu above). 

Delville Wood and Lougueval were the scone of desperate fighting during 
the latter part of July, 1910. 

These two positions had been brilliantly carried by the British on 
July 14 and 15, in spite of their powerful defences, but German counter- 
attacks with lachrymatory and as])hyxiating gas shells, forced the British 
to fall back a few days later. However, the latter soon returned to the attack, 
and a terrible struggle began, which lasted five days and nights without 
intermission (July 23 to 28). 

One South African Brigade gave proof of marvellous courage and 
endurance in Delville Wood, where, attacked by nine and a half battalions, 
supported by an overwhelming artillery, it did not yield an inch of ground. 
One groujj of machine-gunners was reduced to oul' man, who continued to lire, 
until his gun jammed, when he coolly took it to pieces, set it right and 
resumed firing. Only after he had emptied all his cartridge belts did he with- 
draw. In another corner of the wood, Scottish units, on the point of being 
surroinided, charged with bayonet and grenadee!, and in sjjite of the enemy's 
numerical suiieriority. succeeded in cutting their way through, after a furious 
hand-to-hand struggle. On July 28, the wood was finally cleared of it's last 
(ierman occuiiants. On both sides the losses were very heavy. Three German 
regiments were completely annihilated. 

The desperate nature of the struggle is attested by the present aspect of 
Longueval village and Delville Wood. It is almost impossible, even with the 




WIIEIIE 
I.O.NGUEVAL 
CnuiiCH USED 

TO STAND. 

At tJie hack : 

DELVILLE WOOD. 



62 



help of a map, to locate the site of this once pleasant spot amid this chaos of 
stones and bricks, tree-stiimi^s and shell-torn ground. 
In Longueval, take the Contalmaison road, on the right. 

Two kilometres beyond Longueval, txmi to the left towards Bazentin-le- 
Gra.nd' 

Bazentin-le-Grand was a small hamlet, belonging to a large agglomeration 
of houses (now razed to the ground), of ■wiiich Bazentm-le-Petit \\as the 
continuation. 

After capturing Contalmaison and JNIametz Wood m July, 1916, the 
British soon reached and carried Bazentin-le-Grand. 

A desperate struggle then began on July 14, 1916, before Bazentin-le-Petit. 
To the strains of the Marseillaise the British attacked the German entrench- 
ments, captured and lost the village several times, and fuiaUy remamed master.:; 
of it. To consohdate the conc£uered ground they immediately advanced 
beyond it. 

Penetrating into the German third Uiie, they gamed a footing in Foureaux 
Wood (High Wood), and on the slopes of Hill 155. 







A squadron of British Dragoon Guards — the first a]ipearance of liritish 
cavalry in the trench warfare — charged the wood, si)reatlmg panic in the 
enemy ranks. 

Foureaux Wood, literally covere<l wth formidable defences, was only 
captured after two months of incessant fighting. Finally, the last defenders, 
surrounded on all sides, were forced to surrender on Sei)teml)er 15. 

In August, I'.tlS, till' niitisli, aftiT piercing the lines on the Ancm 
and 'I'hiepval I'lateau, attackctl the German forces, not, as in lOKi, 
]iarallelly to the .Mlx-rt-Hapaume road, but at right-angles to it. In two days 
^.August '1~> 'li\) they ea])(ured ( 'ontabnaison viMage, Mametz Wood, Bazentin, 
rourcau.x Wood and .Martinpuich, to the east of the road. 

Pas.i through Bazentin-le-draud. The mad crosses Hill 144. then descends to 
C fjiiarri/ en Ihe lift, in which several bundled Bi'itisli soldieis were buried, 
II next climbs up to Montauban — a village rising tier u\Kn\ tier on the slope 
of an eminence, the top of uhieh, slightly further to the west (ITill 130), is 
one of Ihe highest spots in the whole region belweeii Albert and IVronne, 



68 




MOXTAUBAN. 
WAYSIDE CKOSS 
AT KNTRANCE 
TO VILLAGE. 



The ro(t(l paA'ie)^ a cross {plioio nhovc) in the village, at the juncHo:i cfiwo ways. 
Take the one on the rit/ht, which leads to the site of the late church. Of the latter, 
nothmc remains but a few iron ciosses in the surrounding cemetery {plioto 
below), 

INIontauban was captured by the British on the first day of their offensive 
(Julv' 1, 191t)). The struggle Avas short, but fierce and sanguinary. Numerous 
machine-guns posted in the cellars of the houses directed a continuous and 
murderous fire u^wn the assailants through the vent-holes, and had to be 
destroyed one by one, by means of grenades. The enemy losses were very heav^^ 
During the artillery jireparation, and on the day of the attack, the Bavarian 
6th Regiment lost 3,0lX) men out of 3,50U ; the casualties of another of their 
Infantry Regiments (the 190th) amounted to half its total strength. 

Since the third month of the wai', Montauban had remained (juite close 
to the front line, and was, reduced to ruins. The fe^v houses spared by the Allies' 
artillery \\'ere destroyed later by the Genuan guns. 

It is utterly impossible to locate the site of a street or house. The only 
remaming landmarks are the pond and the cemetery — the latter considerably 
enlarged by the addition of numerous German graves. EveryAvhei-e else 
nothing is to be seen, except heaps of stones and rubbish, beams, scrap-iron, 
and debris of all kinds. 




.■.#A^ 



V 



iMMi lii m^ i Mil '^i 




MONTAUBAN. 
WIIKIIE THE 
CllLllCU STOOD. 



64 



IcL-Boissc^ 






-le-Gra/td, 



Mcfntauban .^. 




At Montmilmn Church turn to the right. On leaving the village take the road 
on the left to Carnoy. 

It was to the north of Carnoy that from September, 191-1, to July, 1916, the 
front line became fixed. 

On July 1, 19 Hi, the British set out from Carnoy to attack IMontauban, in 
liaison on their right with the French. 

Out-side Carnoy the road crosses a ravine, in whicli i-inis the short Albert- 
Peronne railway, and passes a large cemetery on the left. Jt next rises sharply 
to the Albert-Pironne road, which take on the rigid. 

Two kilometres beyond the fork, take the road to Mametz, on the right. 

The village of Mametz (completely destroyed) was captured by the Biitish 
on July 1, 1916, in spite of a desiieialc resistance. 

In the tillage, take the road to Fricourt (1 km.), on the left. 

Kricourt village was fortified by the Germans and formed part of their 
front line until July ], I91(). 

Rising ill tiers on the bl■o\^ of a hill, lliis village consisted of a 
continuous series of blockhouses and ie(loul)ts, with nunu-rous machine-guns. 
Underneath the liousts \\ei'e deep, comfortable shcltei's, some of which were 
45 feet deep. As was the case throughout the whole of the sector before Albert, 



COSTAI,MAlSe\. 

SITK OF TIIK 

1>ESTK()YKI) 

ClIUUCIl. 




65 




•c*!^ 



£J^i% 





riiNTAT.>rAIS-ON. 
KXTUANCK TU 
■IHK CIIATKAL'. 

The allarx 
were iixed a,s 
(IrenKi'iKj 
.•stations. 



Fricourt was the scone of violent mine warfare for many months. On various 
occasions sanguinary encounters took place for the possession of the mhie- 
craters, but the fi'ont hue trenchem continued to occupy the same positions. 
The (iermans kej^t the village, while the French clung to its south-MCstern 
outskirts. 

It took the British no less than thirty-six houi's of incessant fighting to 
carry it on July 2, 1916. 1 ,500 prisoners were taken. 

Take the road In Contaimaison (3 km.), which hrancftes off to the right at 
Fricourt. Before entering the village notice the British cemetery on the left. 

The ancient market-town of Contaimaison was important, on account 
of its dominating position at the juivction of sevei'al roads. iSurrounded with 
redoubts and defended by the Prussian Guanl, it A\as taken, then lost, on 
July 7, 1916. Attacked again from the south and west, it was finally carried on 
July 11, together with Mametz Wood, lying to the east. Contaimaison was 
completely destroyed. 

A few crosses mark the site of the church and cemetery. 

Tahe the Boisselle road on the left, and return to Amiens, via Albert, a short 

distance fnrtlicr on. 




f'ONTAI.MAISDN. 
liKITISU 
CKMETKHV 
NKAK rilK 
CHATEAU. 



66 



177 Kilometres 




SECOND DAY. 

THE VALLEY OF THE SOMME— COMBLES PI^RONNE. 

Leave Amiens by the Rue Jules Barmi {contimiation of the Rue de Noijon), 
then, after passing the station, by the Chaussce Pcrirjord and N. 35. 

After passing through Longueau, the road forms a double forh. Take the left- 
hand road in both cases. At Petit Biangy there is an important Australian 
3emetery on the left. After tmce crossing the railway the road enters Abb6 wood. 

Oti leaving the road, at the foot of a descent (15 km. from Amiens), take the 
Corbie road on the left, via Fouiiloy. 

Tliere is a fine IGth-lStli tenturv churcli at Corbie. .Restored in tlie J!)tli 
contiuy, it is the remauis of a famous abbey. The town suli'ered severely 
from the bombardments. 



riiitniK. 

RUK Ili:i!SANT 
AM) Till-; 
CHURCH. 




67 





'^'t'lSkr^^ 





SAll,l,\-l.i:-si'.r. 

Take the Rue Faidhcrhe as far as a house in'lh hricJ: turrets, lohere ttmi to 
tlie right into the Rue Victor Hugo. 

Bei/ou>J Corbie, the road foUous the marshy valley of the Somme to Vaux- 
sur-Somme. 

Ou leaving tlii.s village there is a British- American graveyaixl on the right, 
by the side oi the parish cemetery. 

The road next passes through Sailiy-le-Sec, whose church is in ruins. At 
the end of the village take the road on the left, then at the ivayside cross, that on the 
right up Hill 108, past two British cemeteries. 2 km. beyond Sailiy-le-Sec, the 
Corbie-Bray road (O.C. 1) is joined, which take on the right, past a large British 
cemetery on the right. 

Having crossed Tallies Wood (notice the gun- emplacements) G.C. 1 
descends alongside a quarry which sheltered a large German ammunition 
dump {photo below). 2 km. beyond the quarry, the village o/ Bray-sur-Somme 
is reached. 




NEAR TAILLES WOOD. GERMAN AMMUNITION DUMP. 



68 



Bray-sur-Somme 



Throughout the offensive of 1910. Bray was an unportant re\-ictua]Ung 
centre, and as such, frequently bombed by German aeroplanes. Troops and 
convoys were constantly passmg through. 

In 1918, the Caimans, having driven back the British beyond the old front 
line of 1914-1916, occupied Bray on March 26. six days after launching their 
offensive. Immediately progressuig beyond the to\\ii, they ad\anced along 
the Somme to the vicinity of Sailly-le-Sec, where the front hne became fixed 
at the end of jNIarch. 

The Franco-Britisli offensive of August 8, the objective of which Mas to 
reduce the Amiens Salient, cleared the Somme Valley as far as the outskirts of 
Bray, ^\'here the Germans resisted strongly. 

However, on August 22, General Rawlinson's Army, m a fresh effort, 
succeeded in carrying Hill 107— an observation-iiost ^\hi(•h domhiated the 
country to the north-east. On the night of the 23rd, Austrahan troops, slippmg 
along the river, entered Bray and captured a large number of prisoners. 

The town which, until 1918. hacl practically escaped damage, suffered 
severely in the subsefiuent bombardments, and ^\•as moreover thoroughly 
pillaged by the Gennan troops during theiv occupation. In this they comphed 



BRAY-SUK- 

SOM.MK. 

CHURCH AND 

ri.ACK DE LA 

I.IIilCUTK. 




\vith tli<' instructions of the High Command, who orderofl all the churches and 
chapels in the region of the Somme to bo carefully searched, not excepthig the 
'• altars, confessionals and other parts of the church, access to lehich is reserved 
1)1/ ecclesiastical rnJf.'^ to the priests oiiJi/.'" In ])ursiiaiice of this deci'ce, dated 
May 20, 1918, the chuich of Bray-sur-Somme was (Icsjioilcd of its furnishings. 
A magistrate-member of the l-^iKjuirv Gommission, visiting the church a few 
days after the Germans had left, reported : "-1 larye nionber of bottles uure 
tifinf/ on the floor. 'Hir tiaptlsiiKil font was fouled with urine. The door 
of the Hot 11 of llotieti, whieJi tiore traces of having been forced, inis ticisted 
and the iron-icorh torn of)'." 

The church itself (///W. Mon.). dated fKun (!:«• I.'ilh and b")(li centuries. It 
was gn-atly damag'-d by the Ixunliaidincnts. 'i'lic spire ((illapscd. the facade 
was j)i('rc('d with innnerons shell-holes, w hile the tinibei- work and rooting were 
pa"tly destroyed. 

'J'iie church is reached by the Rue des Massacres. 

After risitiufj the church, proceed to the liolloni of the square, where, on the 
riffht, turn to the hfl into llie Hue de ('apf)i/. J'ass a M( rori)ii/iau cemetery, 
then follow the marshy Valley of the l::iomme to Cappy (,'5 km. from Bray). 



69 



'''mm 




CAPPy. THE VILLAGE AND BRIDGK OVEK THE CANAL. 

Cappy, lost on March 26, 1918, was reconquered exactly five months 
later by the British. The Germans had a dump in the village for all the 
sacred articles stolen in the district. This dejjot was installed in the yard 
of the billet occujjied by the " officer in cliarcjr of tlic hovfij," oi^posite a 
building which, according to a notice posted up by the Germans, was the 
meeting-place of the ^'■detachments for the collection of the booty." The 
sudden arrival of the British did not leave them time to carry aAA-ay the 
booty, which included three bells, a quantity of metallic objects, chandeliers, 
candlesticks, crucifixes, and " six greatly damaged ecclesiastical ornaments." 

The church has a massive fourteenth centui'y fortified belfrj-, the upper 




THE CANAL 
NKAR THK I.iiCK. 
Wcil-MiKI) (I.N 
THKlll WAY To 
THK DUESSINO- 
STATION. 



70 



FRISE CHURCH 
IN JULY, 1916 

(we P2}. 71-72). 




Btoiy of which comprises four watch-towers resting on the corner abutments. 
Two of these towers were destroyed by the bombartlnimt. 

Near the Church, take, the road irhich rioifi paralhi to the Somme caiial. On 
leaving Capjjy there its a large Franco-British cemetery o)i the left. 

Eclusier (3 km. heijond Cappij) is next reached ; it is the princi])al jiortion 
of the " connninie " of Vaux-Echisier. Vaux, which forms the other portion 
of it, lies on the northern l)anlv. 

On .Inly I, I'.Hii. the French first linos, jiassing through the eastern 
outskirts of Vaux-lv lusior, barred the Valley of the Somme with a con- 
tinuous line of small posts estal)lished in the middle of marshes, thus connecting 
the organisations on solid ground on the northern bank with those of tlie 
southern bank. 

There is a Fren( li inili(;iry cemetery on the right, before entering Eclusier. 

In spite of nuim rnus hninli.irdineiils, Eclusier has retained the appearance 
of a village. Most of the damagi' is repairaMe. 

It was ()nl\ ill .laiiiiary, lOlH, that Vaux-Eclusier became the last village 
Occupi(Hl by tlie h'rencli in the X'alley of the Somme. i'revious (o that date 
the advanced lines ran beyond the village of Frisc, 2 km. further to the cast 



71 




FRISK cncRcn 

IN SKl'TKMIilOK, 
1017 (nee j>j>. 
70-72). 



To reach Frise, keep sfraight along the Somme Canal. 

Standing on a picturesque site dominated by a hill on the north, the 
village lies on the left bank of the Somme, opposite the marshes, at the end 
of a large bend in the river. This bend measures 7 km. round, whereas the 
isthmus A\hieh separates the two arms of the river, opposite Frise, is scarcely 
i km. in width. These conditions made it very difficult to defend the village, 



' Ccrnhii'j 




1'l 



72 



FRISK CHURCH 

IX 3919 (see pp. 

40-42). 

Only the tiro 

trees are left. 







\ y V a / 


^ 

" 


i^^SIa 






»?' '« /» . 




i 


m 






■'^-^ /-v 


'~1 










m 


/ 


'oi^^^^^H 






L 


^-''' n 


^''"SH 




' '^ 


£ 


% 






" 






5*-^*!^^^ 


^ 


'^3^- 






-J 

- J 



which was accordinglj' used only as an advance-post. The Germans attempted 
to capture the place on several occasions by local surjii'lsc-attacks and mining. 
In January, l'.)U), a jrawerful attack ^\■ith large forces succeeded, afti'r a 
violent bombardment, in occupjing the position, but the Germans were 
unable to debouch from it. 

The French retook Frise on the morning of July 2, lOKi. Tn th(» course 
of a brilliant attack, the successive lines of trenclicH uliicli defended the 
southern and eastern parts of the village, were carried, and the latter was 
evacuated by the Germans at noon. Giving the enemy no" time to reform, 
the French followed up their success by attacking the German second 
line, and before nightfall carried that ])art of Mereaucourt Wood which 
lies to the east, on a crest about 340 feet high, overlooking the Valley uf 
the Somme. 

Frise was comph'tely destroyed. Here and there fragments of Avails 
and half-burnt beams mark the site of the old houses. Scmve di the 
inhal)itauts have n-tunied and are being housed in huts envted iu tiie 
IMace de lK).;lise. 

The large modern church has disappeared, the totteiiug luins having been 
pulled down. 



73 




VAl'X VILLAGK AND THE VALLEY OF 'I'HK SOMMi:. 

On leaviiiij Fri.sc, return to Ecluaier bij the same ruud. BeijO)id the churclb 
take the road on the right which crosses first the canal, then the marshes by means 
of three bridges. At the fork, take the right-hand road to Vaux. 

There is a tine view of the River Somme and the marshes, including pai't 
of the battleheld of July 1, 1916. In the valley, walled in by high chalky 
cUtfs, the Somnie, bordered with high poi:)lar-trees, follows its winding course 
among marshes and peat -bogs, intersected with patches of rushes and reed- 
grass. The half -hidden ruins of Frise are on the right. On the left fragments 
of walls are all that remain of Fargny Mill and the buildings which surrounded 
it. The French hrst line ran close by on July, 1, 191(5 (j/hoto, j'- 74). 





^-r^ 



FARGNY 
3UI,L, 
JII.Y, litlG. 



74 



FARGNY MILL 

DAM AND THE 

" GENDARME'S 

HAT." 

Jn 1919 the 

mill had 

dimppeared. 




Behind, the edge of a once wooded ravine, the chalky substratum of which, 
laid bare by shell-fire, was christened "Gendarme's Hat" by the Poilus, 
formed the Germans Hrst line. F'urther away, in the hollow of the valley, 
appear the ruins of Curiu village. 

The road runs alongside the Somme. At the site of Fargnij Mill go round 
the " Genddnnc's Hat " — from which the attack of July 1, 1910, debouched 
— to reach Curiu. 

Curlu had been transformed into a stronghold by the Germans. 

Debouching from Fargny Mill, on the morning of JuIn- 1, a regiment of 
the French 20th Corps carried all the German advance-positions with great 
dash, notably the '' Gendarme's Hat." However, at the outskii'ts of Curlu, 
further advance was stayed by machine-gun fire, making fresh ai-tillery 
preparation necessary, which destroyed most of the houses. Kushing again 




iiih; " e.K.Nl>AiiMK'b iiAi," Ji i.'i, llMii 



75 




CCRI.U CHURCH. 
Fnujmeut of 
V.itli ceitturji 
tvall—all that 
i.i left of the 
village. 



to the assault in the evening, the French, in a few minutes, drove the 
Bavarians from all their positions, and the enemy's numerous attemj)ts 
during the night and throughout the next day to regain a footing in the 
village broke down before the French barrage fire. 

The day after the capture of C'urlu, the French resumed their advance, 
and soon reached the village of Hem, which they carried on July 5, after 
fierce fighting lasting the whole day. 

The road follows the line of the advance, from Fargny Mill to Hem. At 
Curlu leave the church on the left. Numerous shelters, graves and cemeteries 
are seen along the road, ^\•]li(■h passes near Hem-Monacu (2 hm. hcyoncl 
Curl It) ; a few broken walls, ,'jOO yards to the right of the road, are all that 
remain of the village (photo beloiv). 




HEM-MONACU. RUIKS OF THE CHURCH. 



76 



CLERY 

CHURCH 

AND 

A'lLLAGE. 




The French were held to the east of Hem {see sketch-map, 21- 71), by the 
strong defences around the village. These positions consisted of: a wood full 
of barbed-wire entanglements, situated to the north, near the station of the 
Albert-Peronne light railway; to the north-east, other strongly organised 
small woods and a quarry. 

Further to the east, on the Combles-Feuilleres road (G.C. 146), Monacu 
Farm — a veritable fortress with numerous strong-points — was connected 
with other defences which had been organised in the slag-heajis of the 
phosphate of lime works belonging to the Nt. Gobain Glass Manufactory. 
These defences extended as far as the Somme marshes, where the long reeds 
hid the numerous machine-guns. 

The French carried all these centres of lesistance at the end of July and 
beginning of August, and kept them in spite of fierce German counter-attacks, 
some of which lasted thirty-six hours. At jNlonacu Farm the (ierman 
etforts assumed a particularly violent character. The French artillery, posted 
on the top of the cliffs, enfiladed the attacldng waves, Avhich were each time 
forced to fall back in disorder ^\ith very heavy losses, without being able 
to i-each the French lines. 

Tlicsc successful operations, wliilc ciiabHiig the French to secure the whole 
second line of (lie German defences, also gave them an outlet, on th(> north, 
into Comblcs \'alley — the long, dry and sinuous ravine along which runs the 
Allfcrt-l'cronne light railway. On the south, they also comnuvnded the 
bridges and roads leading to Feuillcres. on the left bank of the Somme. 

'I"hc liridges were innnediately rclmilt, and direct communication ensured 
between the tronps engaged north and south of the river. 

Thref kilomclriK frtim Curl 11. lake llie FeuiUires-Maurepas road (G'.C. 14()) 
on the left. Id Horn Wood (aOO i/arrls further oti). Here take the <1.C. 21.'?. on 
the rlf/hl, to ci6ry-8ur-8cr..tTic an important village on the north of a l)end 
in the river, l-'inc view of tlie Somme. towards IVroinie. 

in the: .Middle-Ages, Clery wan a fortified town commanding (lie valley of 
the Somme. Here the Dnkes of ('refmy, then lords of liie districl, built a 
fortilied castle in fimit ol I Ik- ri\er iniirslies, to wlncli the family device: 
'■ .V(// s'n frollf " (•• Meddle not with me ) was given, liefore tlu- war some 
fourteenth century vcatigcs of the castle were still to be seen. 




fl.KRV. 

CKMKTERY 

IN 

MADAME 

WOOD. 



In fortifying Clery, the Germans took full athaiitage of its favourable 
position ; powerful defences were made in the outskirts of the village, and in 
the surrounding woods and ravines, while many of the houses were trans- 
formed into centres of resistance. However, in spite of the strength of its 
defences, Clery was entirely carried in a single assault on September .'?, 1916, 
after a terrific bombardment which the German co)n»mniqiuti quaUHed as 
" ferocious."' 

The success was an important one, as Clery conmumded the \'arious roads 
leading to Maurepas, Combles and Bouchavesnes on the north, another road 
on the east leading to Feuillancourt and some bridges across th(^ Somme. 
The capture of the hamlet of Omi6court at the other end of the bridges, 
two days after that of Clery, enabled the French to connect up their positions 
north of the Somme with those on the left bank of the river. The Germans 
counter-attacked in force several times, but were unable to retake the position, 
in spite of very heavy losses. 

Clery was completely destroyed ; only a few broken walls and shattered 
roofs remain, and even these few traces of the formerly prosperous village 
are crumbling away and disappearing. A few unrecognisable fragments of 
ruins, standing amid an accumulation of stones and rubbish, are all that is 
left of the hfteenth century church. 

There are numerous soldiers' graves in the village, and also many military 
defence-works. 

To the east of Clery the turbid waters of the Somme spread themselves 
out, forming immense marshes, intersected by a labyrinth-like network of 
channels. The French advance was directed from this side in lOKi. while 
on the east they were likewise blocked by the ^Font-Saint-Quentin Hill, which 
rises nearly 200 feet above the Somme N'allcy, from Clery to I'cronnc, and 
which the Germans, by powerful defences, had converted into a second 
" Warlencourt Ridge." Although withhi sight of Peronne, scarcely three 
miles distant, the French could get no farther. Clery, on the riglit bank of 
the Somme, was the nearest village to Peromie conquered by the French in 
1916. 



78 








^ -^^ ^«?^ 







■s^ 



^M^,^^^ 



^1^^-::^^'' 




JIAUllEPAS VILLAGK — COMPLETELY RAZED. 



In ]\Iai'ch, 1!)18, no important engagements were fought on the old Somme 
battlefields. On March 24 the Germans crossed the Sonime, south of Peronne. 
and forced the Tortille line north of the town. ()ver\\heln;ed and in danger 
of being surrounded, the British had to fall back hurriedly, under the 
protection of rear-guards, who were unable to check the enemy s advance. 

In the following month of August the valley of the Somme was cleared 
of the enemy almost without firing a shot. In accordance with ]Marshal 
Foi-hs general plan, the British attack of August 21 was limited to the 
north of the .Somme. The Germans had just been driven back, south of tlie 
river, from the district of Montdidier to the outskirts of Royc, as a result 
of the Franco-British offensive of August 8. The Allied plan provided for 
the withdrawal of the enemy's right \\ing from the banks of tlu" Ancre to 
Bapaume, thereby necessitating the immediate evacuation of flic whole 
bend in the Somme by their centre, and this is what actually ha])jiened. 
As soon as Bapaume was invested, the Germans hastily retreated, and whereas, 
on August 28, the liiitish were still hanging on to the western outskirts of 
Curlu. on the morning of the 2!Uli they were in I bin. and in the evening 
of th(^ same day had jirogressed beyond Clery. 

On Iraving Clirij, relitrn by the same road to Hem Wood, where lake Ihc 
Feuillires-Mavrepas road {G.C. 146), on the right towards Maurepas. The 
road runs alongside Hem Wood {cut to pieces), crosses a ravine in which ran Ihc 
Alherl-Pt'ronne railwai/, a»d then rises towards a rrrsi fmiii n-hirh v/r/r/.v, on 
the left, a road (oUO yards from the fork) IkuUiuj It) Maurcpas (completely 
destroyed). 

Till- (Jermans strongly fortified the village of Maurcpas which ])roteeted 
Coniblcs fioin the south-west and foiined the junction of six I'oads coming 
IrO'm all directions. It was an agglomeration of large farms, each of which 



79 




MAT-REPAS 



possessed a meadow surrounded with trees. These farms had to be carried 
ahnost one at a time, and the advance was therefore very slow. 

The first assault against the village was launched on August 12 by troojis 
coming from Hardecourt-aux-Bois ; only the southern and western parts 
of the village — including the fortified cemetery and the church— could be 
carried. The northern part fell a few days later. Finally, on August 24, 
the last centres of resistance — notably the houses alongside of the roads 
leading to Combles and to Forest — were captured. 

7» the village, near a cross, take the road to Combles, on the right, crossing 
the north-west part of the village. The site of the church is on the right, while 
on the left is a small German redoubt (photo beloiv), from which there is a 
tine view of Mardecourt-aux-Bois. 

Hardecourt, which cannot be reached by road, stood at the junction- 
point of the French and British forces during the offensives which aimed at 
the investment of Combles. It had been captured in less than three hours 
by the French on July 8, 1916, together with the eminence which protects 
it on the north. A few scattered ruins are all that remain to-day of the 
village. 

The road runs straight from Maurepas to Combles (3 km.). 







MAl'I'.KI'AS. 
(iUAVES 
AROUND 
A GERMAN 
KKUOUBT. 






!^t:W^i"VHt/ 




80 




PANORA.MIC VIKW OF COMBLES 

A.— 2V<5)i€s Wood; B.—Guillemont ; C.—Rtd>is of CJtwch : D. — Entiancetothe Uiiiler<n-i)inul 

eniplaceinent ; B.^Morcal ; I. — Combles. 



Investment and Capture of Combles by the Franco-British Troops 

in September, 1916 

Combles formed the last redoubt ia the German defences mitil September, 
lOIC. 

Nature had made the jiosition an exr-cedinjily stronij one. Enclosed at 
the bottom of a small vallcv and completely surrounded ])y a uiidlc of hills, 
Combles was out of reach of the artiliciv. l''or two and a half years the 
Germans had been fortifyinfj; this position. Iniililinii fdiinid ililc cut rciicli- 
ments and extensive subtcirancan defences in and ;ironii(l llic village. 

The systematic coiKpiest by tlic Allies during the tirst half of September. 
I!M(1, of the whole region, including the villages of Forest, Alaurcpas, (luillc- 
moiit and Ginchy, had brought about the fall of tin' whole of tiie defences 
of the stronghold, on tlii' south and west. 

A fresh I'lanio l'>iiti:;li jitlack \\;is I.iunihed on S<'|il( inber 2"), aft» i' a 
tenilic bombardment, with tlie object of cncirclinL: the fortress, by the captuic 
of V\\v strong points which still ])rotecte<l it on the east and north (.str nkctcli- 
viai), J). HI). 



81 



rr 




AND THE SURROUNDING COUNTRY. 

Shelters; E. — Combles-Gdilkniionf road: V. — HoiUeaitx Wmitl ; G. — l^iiarri/ used <(>.■ /idiritzer 
Morval road ; J. — Maurepan-Comhles road. 

On the south-east, the French, starting from their trenches in the old 
German positions of Le Priez Farm — a powerful redoubt protected by six 
lines of defences which they had carried by assault on September 14 — cajitured 
the hamlet of Fregicourt. On the east, they carried Rancourt village, and 




mcourc 



82 




ONE OP THE ENTRANCES TO THE UNDERGROUND 
SHELTERS OF LAMOTTE CHATEAU. 

(Stretcher-beareis faking a meal.') 

all intermediary positions between these two points, advancing as far as the 
north-western corner of St. Pierre- Vaast Wood. 

• On the north, the British took the fortified villages of IMorval and Lesbceufs, 
and nearly joined hands \\ith the French. 

The Germans had now only one line of communication ^\•ith their rear, 
consisting of a hollow road which, Avinding towards Sailly-Saillisel to the 
north-east, through La Haie Wood, was under the fire of the Franco-British 
artillery. The Germans therefore decided to evacuate their positions, but 
the Allies did not gi\e them time to \vithdraAv in good order. On the morning 
of September 26 they attacked again, the objective being this time the 
defences of the village itself. Their junction was to be the centre of the 
village and '" London "' the pass-word. The plan of attack was carried out 
to the letter. The French 110th Infantry Regiment, debouching from the 
south-east, carried all that part of Combles lying east and south of the 
railway, including the cemetery and railway-station. The 7."^rd Infantry 
Regiment captured and consolidated the western part of the village, in sjntc 
of stubborn resistance. The City of London Regiment cleared the north- 
western portion of the village. 

The streets and the road leading to Sailly-Saillisel, along which the 
(iiTinans retreated, were filled with their dead ; 1,200 ])ris()iiers and imjiortant 
<[uautities of material and su])])lies, iioth food and aiumuiiitiou, were ca])tured. 

Lying ]iartly at the bottom of the valley and rising partly in tiers on 
the slojK's of tlie sunouiKliiig hills, CojuMes (],l.")0 inli;il)it<ants, mostly 
engaged in silk and wool weaving) hatl .suffered less from this fierce fighting 
than might have been exjiected. Altho)igh damaged (shattered walls, dis- 
jr)itited timlier-work and tileless roofs) many of its houses wei'e still standing 
at the etui ul Ktld. 'I'Ih- \ill;ii.'c inid, however, been tlioronghly ])illaged by 
the Germans, and traces of their long occupation were everywhere to be 



83 




IN THE UNDERGROUND SHELTERS OF LAMOTTE CHATEAU. 

{German Officers' room.) 

seen, including concrete shelters, strong-points, for macliine-gnns, under- 
ground ])assages, chambers, etc. 

The tunnels, excavated out of the solid rock under the Lamotte Castle, 
which already existed before the war, Avere the most important of these 
subterranean organisations. The Germans utilised them as posts of com- 
mandment, dressing-stations, mustering-places, etc. They were large enough 
to shelter several companies at a time and sufficiently deep to be proof against 
the heaviest projectiles. There \\vyo separate entrances and exits, ventilating 
shafts, electric light, etc., and they were comfortably fitted up. Beds were 
installed in the waWs, and there were tables, chairs, arm-chairs, tapestries, 
etc. — all stolen from the houses in the village. 



Comblcs ire 1918 

In 1918, the British attacked the Combles positions, only after the fall of 
Bapaume. Gen. Rawlinson's Army remained till August 29, 1918— Avhen 
Bapaum(>: was taken — on the line reached on the 26th, which ran went of Ginchy, 
Guillemont and Hardecourt-aux-Bois. Resuming their advance on the 29th 
and pressing hard upon the heels of the retreating enemy, they carried these 
three villages the same day, then INIaurepas, and finally Gombles itself, 
advancing beyond in the evening. 

The ruin of the village was completed during these operations. 

Very few houses retained their four walls and roofs. Of the ToA\n Hall a 
piece of brokcTi wall only remains. The church was almost entirely destroyed, 
only a few fragments of the facade remain standing amid a heap of stones 
and rubbish. 

On reaching Combles turn to the left and cross the village as far as the mined 
church, opposite which is the entrance to the underground passages and 
chambers of Lamotte Castle. 

The church stands at the junction of two roads. Take the right-hand one 



84 




COMBLES CHUBCH. 

On the rlij/it : Guinetiiont road : on the left , 
to Ilardeconrf. 



tiiipassahle road 



[G.C. 20) which rises towards Guilkinunt village, built on the top of a lull 
(altitude 4G2 feet). The road runs between two small -woods — Bouicaux 
Wood (on the right) and Leuze Wood (on the left) — both cut to pieces by 
the shells. 

Bouleaux Wood was carried by the British on September 15, 191P. The 
attack coinciding with a CJerman counter-attack, gave rise to an exceedingly 
violent encounter. After capturing an important redoubt, east of tlie Mood, 
the British gradually outtianked the enemy on the Mings, and ]3ressing hard 
from all sides, forcing them to I'etreat one kilometre northwards at the end 
of the day. 

Leuze Wood wdn also carried by assaidt. 

The village of Guillcmont (2 Im. beyond Coinbles) is next reached. 

Guillemont (razed to the ground) was entiivly ca])tured by the British on 
SeptemV)er .'}, 191G. Xo trace whatever remains of the houses, the sites of 
which are now indistinguishable from the siurounding iiclds. The whole 
area was devastated and is now overrun A\-ith rank vegetation. After its 
capture it was strewn with wreckage of all kinds — stones, bricks, beams, 
agricultui-al im])lements, and household furniture from the shattered farms 
and hous(>s. 'J'he fine modern church, Ciothic in style, which stood in the 
centre of the village, has entii'cly disa])])ear('d. 

1 km. 500 beyond Guillemont is xroncs wood, to reach tvhich, take the 
Montauban road (G.C. 64) on the hfl al the fork of Ihe tillage. 




GUILLEMONT. SITE OF THE DESTROYKU VILLAGE. 



85 




MONUMKM TO Till'; I)J;AI) OF TJIK BiUTiSlI IhTll DIVISION. 

Troncs Wood was the Scene of imuh desperate fighting between the 
British and the (lermans during the Hi'st fortnight of July, 1 !)!(). 

Tlie struggle ^\■as almost incessant from July 8 to July 14, the wood 
changing hands seven times (the Germans say they lost and retook it eighteen 
times running). On both sides the greatest bravery was displayed, (hspite 
terrible losses. British pi'ogress was long stayed by a concrete Ijlockhouse 
(still existent) in the middle of the wood, from wliich, through slits in the 
walls, enemy machine-guns rained death unceasingly on the assaulting 
columns. 

A battalion of the Koyal West Kents remained forty-eight hours cut oS 
in a coriier of the wood to the north-east, and repulsed many furious assaults 
without loss of ground. 

The trees were hacked to pieces by the shells. Among the stum] s may 
be seen trenches, shelters, blockhouses and small forts. In the mitldle, to 
the right of the I'oad, is a pyramid erected to the memory of the officers and 
men of the British 18th Division, lulled in 1916 1918 iii the Battle of the 
Somme {photo above). 

At the end of the wood, near a rail trach on the right, ami fifty yards 
from the road, is a concrete hlocl-liousc {photo heloxv). 




H^HI 


Bfe.^-"-^- ^ 




' 


— r- — 


HI: 


'.^^fl 



TliUlSi-S wool-). MACHINE-GUN BLOCKHOUSE. 



86 






TransloL 




■ '^^ 'de ;=; 
^jerre-Vaajt 



Return hy the same road to the fork at Guillemont, and fake the road on 
the left {leaving that going to Comhles on the right). 50 yards farther on, take the 
road to Ginchy on the right. This little village (1 km. from GiiiJlcmont) lies 
on the western slope of the high " Ancien Telegraphe,"" plateau formerly 
chosen by Chappe as a telegraph post. 

Situated at the crossing of six roads, Ginchy defended Combles (4 km. to 
the south-east) on the north-west. Partly conquered on September 3, 1916, 
Ginchy was only completely occupied by the British on September 9. after a 
terrible struggle lasting three days, in the ruins of the village (entirely 
destroyed). The Irish troops (C'onnaught, Leinster and JMunster Regiments) 
particularly distinguished themselves. 

Follow the road through Ginchy, leaving on the left the roads to Longneval 
(passable) ami Flers, and, on the right, the road to Morval. There is a British 

cemetery in Ginchy, oti the left. Keep straight on to Lesboevfs. 




^*>«^%1^1^- 




)' \ 



GINCHY. WIIKKK TMK CHUUCH USKU TO STAND. 



87 




LOG KOAD OVER HILL 15-1. 

Bejjond Ginchy, the road is made of logs for several kilometres (pJiofo above). 
It crosses a shell-torn plateau (Hill 154), on which numerous graves convey an 
idea of the \4olence of the struggle. In May, 1919, a large Gennan material 
and ammunition dump, also a rail-track, were still to be seen there. 

There is a Gorman cemetery on the left, this side of Lesbceufs. 

Lesboeufs village, next reached, was entirely destroyed ; only a few shell- 
torn trees and (on the right) a mound of stones and rubbisli (the church) 
remain. 

Cross the village and keep straight onto Le Transioy, noticing the numerous 
graves on the right and left. 

Of this important village only a few broken walls remain. 

After crossing the village N. 37 is picked up; 100 yards farther on, the ruins 
of a large sugar factory are seen on the left. 

Take N. 37 on the right to Pcronne, passing through Sailly-Saillisel, 4 km. 
beyond Transloy. 



1 


j 




■'«jfc ^ ^^^^^^^T^H 


[_.,. ■ 


^^HlHI 



LK TKANSLOV. SITE AND RUINS OF CHURCH. 



88 




I 



SAILLY-SAILLISEL. 
As seen when lookim^ toicardx Pt'ronne. 



The Capture of SaJlly-Saillisel by the French 

(October— No vember. 1916. ^ 

Having taken Combles, the French hastened to consolidate their gains by 
carrying the hcigiit of Sailly-Saillisel (in October, 1916)— the last of tlie Iiills 
from which the Germans dominated the hollow of Combles. On tliis hill 
(altitude, 455-488 ft.) stood an extensive village formed by Uvo agglomera 
tions Sailiy, groupetl around the Baj)aume-Peronne road (N. ;}7) and 
Saillisel) built to the south-east and along (J.C. 184. 

Daily progress by means of grenade lighting having enabled the French 
gradually to encircle Sailly-Saillisel from the north-west to south-^est dui-in'' 
the first half of October, an attack was then launched against tlie defences 
proper of the: village. This attack developed into one of (he liardest and 
bloodiest battles in the whole of the Somme oli'ensive, which, begun on 
October 15, lasted till November 11, 1916. 

Sailiy was captured liist (Oclolu-r l.")), the I'^rencli attacking tlie defences 
of the castle, park and old chinch which flanked Sailiy on the ^\•est. After 
desperate fighting, the Germans were forced to retreat. Following uji (heir 
success, the French ])ursued the rctreadng enemy into their second lines and 
entered the village, reducing tjie fortilicd houses one i)y one, and occujiying 
the whole of the village weat of the Bapaume-lVioime road. By nightfall, 
the central cross-roads of Sailiy was reached. On the Killi. a new block of 
houses was carried. On the ITtli. (he (Jcrnians couiiter-attacUed fuiiously 
several times in force, and succe<'ded in regaining a footing in (he defences lost 
the day before, to which they clung desperately. The capture oi (he village 
was only completed on the JSth, when (he F'^rench consolidated (heir gains by 
carrying (he ridges whicii doniina(c Sailiy from (he west and nor(h. 

The honour of taking Sailiy fell to llu; 15l'nd lufanfry Bcgiment of the 



89 




r.KAVKS IX 
THK I'AItK 
<IK SAII.I.Y- 
SAII.I.ISKL 
(■HATKAU 



Vosges, already famous by the capture, in Alsace, of the village of Steinbach 
and the Hartmannsweillerkopf. For eight days, this gallant unit ''fully 
maintainedits gains, in s])ite of the most intense bomlxxrclment, and as many 
as three violent eounter-attacJcs daihy (Order of the Day of Deceniber4, 1916, 
being the third Citation " a Tordre de I'Annee "' of this regiment). 

The battle was soon resumed mth the same violence for the possession of 
Saillisel. At the end of October, the French reached the church — about 
200 yards from the first houses of the hamlet — and continued to advance on 
the follou-ing days, occupjnng Saillisel almost entirelj^ on November 5. 

They were, however, unable to maintain themselves there, and the 
Germans, after extremely violent Hghting, reocciipied the ruins of the hamlet. 
Saillisel was Hnally and totally conquered on November 11-12. A party of 
German machine-gunners in a block of houses refused to surrender, and had 
to be overpowered -witli bombs. 

Sailly-iSaillisel must be added to the long list of the ^^llages A\hich have 
totallj^ vanished. The old castle is now a shapeless mass of ruins. The park 
was so badly cut up by the shells that there remain practically no vestiges 
of the trenches and fortifications which the Germans had accumulated there. 
All the trees ^\'ere more or less shattered, and rank vegetation now overruns 
the whole place. Groups of graves scattered here and there, recall the 
terrible battles which \\ere fought there. 

Of the church, only the bases of a few pillars remain. The graves in the 
churchyard were torn open by the bombardments, and the ^-illage was almost 
entirely levelled. 

To visit Saillisel, take, opposite a large pool, a road — at right angles to N. 37— 
which runs past the ruins of the church : folloiv it as far as the cross-roads. The 
sight is impressive, on account of the large number of French graves and 
shell-holes ; some of the latter are of enormous size. 

Return to and follow N. 37 to Rancourt (3 km.). The road crosses Hill 148, 
whence tlu're is an extensive view, which explains why the Germans clung so 
stubbornly to this ground. 

On the left of the road, at this point, lies St.-Pierre-Vaast Wood, a visit to 
which is both imiiressive and interesting. Access to it is gained by a road which 
branches off N. 37 at the entrance to Rancourt {sec sketch-map, j}- 90). 



90 



St. Pierre-Vaast Wood 

St. Pierre-Vaast Wood, of whicli notliing remains but shattered, burnt 
tree-stumps, Avas the most important vestige of the immense Arrouaise 
Forest that covered the whole of this region in the ]\IiddIe-Ages. 

From November, 1916, till ]\Iarch, 1917, this wood was often mentioned in 
the French and, later, in the British communiques. The Germans had 
powerfully entrenched themselves there, and it AAas here that they had their 
reserves and artillery. In the thickets was a maze of trenches and fortified 
redoubts, surrounded by minor defence-works of all kinds. 

The French partly occupied the wood at the 
beginning of November, but \aolent counter- 
attacks by three enemy army corps forced them 
to evacuate the conquered ground. Driven back 
to the western edge of the wood, they were 
subsequently unable, in spite of renewed efforts, 
to get beyond it. Throughout the whole 
A\dnter of 1916-17, the front Hue remained 
fixed in front of this wood, which, transformed 
into an immense stronghold, protected Peromie 
from the north. This sector, occupied by the 
British, was never quiet. Grenade fighting 
from trench to trench was incessant, \\hilst 
the artillery gradually annihilated all the 
defences and levelled the \\ood almost entirely. 
Finally, on March 16, 1917, at the beginning of 
the German retreat on the Somme, the British 
'aines captured the whole wood, without encounter- 

'llancourt jng serious i-esistance. 

wirtin. After visitinq the wood, return to N. 37, and 

go on to Rancourt. This \dllage (entirely 
destroyed, 2^^'^io, p. 91) was carried by the 
French on September 25, 1916, in the course of 
their turning movement which preceded the 
capture of Combles. 

On leaving llnncourt, N. 37 rrofisrs HilJ 14.^). 

where, on the ritjht, the Comhics GidUcniont 

—Montauhnn— Albert road begins (passable). 

This area is thickly strewn uith graves. 

N.31 next descends to the beginning of the road to Bouchavcsnes, the site 

of which is seen 300 yards to the left. 

The conquest of liouchavesnes was a stirring episode in the battle of the 

Somme. 

On September 12, 1916. a I'nneh detachment, composed of Alpme Chas- 
seurs and infantrv, carrie.1 the position witlun (wo Imurs. after an intense 
nrtilierv i-reparati.m. In spit.- of a most stul.l.orn resistance, all ti.e entrench- 
ments un.l stn.ng iK.ints among the ruins of the houses were earned one after 
the other, in a smgle rush. 400 men, the only survivors of the two German 




91 



Y i__ J 




KAN'COUllT. 



battalions which held tho villauc, Avcre taken prisoners; 10 guns and 40 
machine-guns were likewise captured. 

The success was so c()iiii)lcle and crusliing that for a short time there was 
a gap in the German front line. Scattered units hastily got together were 
thrown into the breach where, crouching in the shell-holes, they resisted 
desperately with rifle and machine-gun, and held their ground for a whole day, 
without any reserve support. 

On March 24, 1918, the CJerman columns forced the line of the Tortille 
stream and entered Bouchavesnes, thereby bringing about the fall of Peronne 

outflanked from the north — and the retreat of the British towards the Ancre. 

The village was reconquered on Sejitember 1 following, after sharp fighting. 

After jM.ssi)ig hij Bouchavesnes, N.31 ascends another crest (see fortified 
quarry on the left), from the top of w Inch there is a magnificent jianorama : 
on the left, the Valley of the Tortille (a small tributary of the 8omme) ; in the 
valleij, the Northern Canal and Village of Allaines ; opposite, the Mont-St.- 
Quentin ; on the right, the Valley of the Somme. 

The jiortion of the National road which is now followed was the scene 
of furious, bloody fighting in 1916. In their attempt to outflank Peronne, the 
French encountered strong German forces which stubbornly held their 
ground. Traces of the desperate fighting are seen all along the way : stumps 
of shattered trees, mine-craters and shell-holes in tlie fields, soldiers' 
graves, etc. 




BOUCHA- 
VESNES. 



92 



Bridge over 
the Canal. 



Mont- 
.St.-Quentin. 



Peioune Kuad 
(N. 37t. 




NEAU PERONXE. RUINS OP BRIDGE OYER THE CA^Ab DL ^OKD, ON THE N. 37 

Cross the Northern Canal by temporary bridge. 

This canal, \\hich connects the Sonime ■\\ith the rivers of northern France, 
was not quite finished when the war broke out. Its bed was excavated, but 




TIIH CANAL lJ\: aOUU rollMDll A I'.nilKI.V Pl.-^IXII I' I.IM. 
OF HKKIHTANCK, 



93 



P(5ronne. 



N.37. 



Miiisomiette Village 




WHAT THE GERMANS SAW FHOM THEIR OBSERVATION-POST ON THE 

MONT-ST.-QUENTIN. 

not yet filled with water, so that it formed a ready-made line of resistance. 
The Germans were unable to hold it in 1916, and the British were likewise 
driven from it by the German thrust in 1918. 

Iinmediutdii bci/ond the canal, the small, ruined village of Feuiilancourt is 
crossed. On September 12, 1916, the French gained a footing on Hill 76, 
west of the Aallage. This was the nearest position to Peronne reached in 1916, 
to tlie north of the town. 

Fulloiv N. 37 to Mont-St.-Quentin. 



Mont-Saint-Quentin 

Built along the National road, 2 km. north of Peronne, on a hill having 
an altitude of 325-390 ft., the village of I\lont-St.-Quentin possessed, until 
the Revolution, an imjwrtant abbey, which was founded in the early INIiddle 

The hill, now famous, rises in front of Peronne, and forms the immediate 
defence of the town. The Germans had, prior to the Franco-British offensive 
of 1916. posted their heavy artillery there and built powerful entrenchments. 

From 1914 to 1917 the German pior.eers consolidated the position. 
The hill was pierced from all sides by subterranean timber-propped galleries, 
some leading to immense and C()nifortal)le shelters, others to numerous 
invisible obscr\ ation-posts, so placed as to command an extensive view in 
all directions. 

A large number of camouflaged heavy guns were jiosted on the slopes of 
the hill, the neighbouiing oliservation-posts ensuring great accuracy of lire. 

Trenches had been dug all about, in the chalky soil. At the foot of the 
slopes, two tirst-lines comjjletely surrounded the hill, and two similar lines 
ran round half-way uj). Communication-trenches zig-zagged transversely. 



94 




GEEJIAN OBSERVATION-POST ON MONT-ST.-QUENTIN (iN THE CHATEAU PAEK). 
Peronne and Maisonnette Hill are in the backijrotind. 

connecting the various lines of main trenches, while the intervening empty 
spaces were covered with deep entanglements of barbed wire ai\d chevaux-de- 
frise. Lines of barbed wire jirotected the winding coniiminicating trenches. 
At the corners, at regular intervals, concrete observation and s})ecial posts, 
all strongly fortified, were built for the machine-gunners and sharp-shooters. 

The village itself was powerfully I'ortilied. An intrieate system of trenches 
entirely covered the place, the castle forming the main strong-point. A 
maze of communication trenches and entrenchments ran throughout the 
])ark. A concrete observation-post on the terrace, near the enclosing A\all. 
hidden among tho lime-trees, coiniuandcd a view of the ■\\hole battlelield 




Sl'i'-UOLE OF TUE OllSKltVATlON-l'OST. 



95 




Mi>NT-ST.- 
QUKNTIN. 
UUINED 
HOUSES. 



north and south of the Valley of the Somme. A subterranean shelter beneath 
this observation-post connected the defences of the castle with those in the 
cellars of the village houses. 

These powerful entrenchments have almost completely disappeared. 
Before evacuating the position in March, 1917, the Germans mined the defence- 
works of the hill, blocking up the entrance to the underground passages. 
They also set fire to the timber props which supported the roof and walls 
of the galleiies and shelters ; an immense fire was thus lighted inside the 
hill, which, for several days, had the appearance of a volcano in erui)tion. 

Whilst in 1917 the Germans voluntarily evacuated Mont-Saint-Quentin, 
they were driven from it by main force in 1918. During the night of August 30, 
Australian units, slipping through the brush^\'ood and barbed-wire entangle- 
ments which covered the steep slojjes of the hill, succeeded in reaching the 
top, and quickly bombed the surprised garrison into submission, about a 




MONT-ST." 
QUENTIN. 
«KI!MAN 
DEFENCKS. 



96 



MOXT-ST.- 

yCKSTIN. 

VILLAGE IN 

RUINS!. 




third of the defenders being taken piisoners. In spite of fierce counter- 
attacks, the Australians held their ground the next day. Several assaulting 
waves, composed of soldiei's from the Prussian Guard, were successively 
launched against the hurriedly consolidated positions, but were each time 
mowed down by artillery barrages. 

Of the village of Mont- Saint- Quent in, nothing remains but the basements 
of the houses, with here and there bits of broken A\alls, tottering beams and 
heaps of rubbish. The church, a favourite pilgrimage, in memory of the former 
abbey, was totally destroyed, as was also the castle. 

The ruins of the castle, and a German observation-post of concrete, with 
underground passages and shelters, are at the entrance to tlic \ illai;(\ on the 
left, about 50 yards from X. .37. 

There is a fine panoramic view over the Somme Valley and I'c'ronno. 

On UariiKj Munt-Sanil-Quoiliit, y. 37 descends to P6ronne. Enter the 
town by the Faubourg de Bretacple. 



JIONT-ST.- 

ylKNTI.V. 

UUINS OF 

TIIK 

rilATKAf. 



Wtl 




SIeI 


.JllpMjl 


^^^^^^^S ^^^^^^^^^TT^T^* 


^kflK3*7^^B^ '^ ^^ir ^^^^^^^9 


1^^ 


mHjjjg 



97 







GKRMAK 

sii;ns in 

THK 

CKANIiK 

I'LACK. 



P^RONNE. 

Pc'ronne, a sub-prefeeturc of thi^ " Dt'paitoinont '" of llic Somme. was ono 
of th(> cputres of the sugar and hosiery industries in France, with a pre-war 
poi)uhition of about 5,000 inhabitants. 

]iuilt at tlie junction of the Rivers Somme and Cologne, which form a 
picturesque girdle of marshes and ponds before the walls of the town, Peronne 
was formerly a fortihed city. Its brick ramparts and moats were being 
dismantled when the late war broke out. 



Origin and Chief Historical Events 

Peronne, whose origin goes back to a Merovingian villa built there in the 
seventh century, became, in the Middle-Ages, an important fortified city, 
mider the rule of the Counts de Vermandois. One of them kept Charles-le- 
8imple imprisoned there until his death (929). Philippe I. arniexed Peronne 
to the Crown lands, but in 1435 Charles Vll. gave the city to Philippe-le-Bon, 
Duke of Burgundy. In 1483, during the rebellion of the Liegois, Louis XI., 
who was then the guest of Charles-le-Temeraire, was kept a prisoner in the 
c-astle and compelled to sign a hinniliating tre.aty — called the Peronne Peace 
— which he afterwards refused to fulHl. 

In 1536, the >Spaniards, under the leadership of the Prince of Orange, 
besieged the town for thirty consecutive days, but thanks to the bravery of 
tlie inhabitants, and the heroism of a woman named Catherine de Poix, or 
Marie Fouche, who was the soul of the resistance {photo, 2>. 104), Peronne w as 
saved. 

The '■ Holy League,"' Avhich marked the commencement of the Religious 
\\'ars, was founded at Peronne in 1577 by the nobility and clergy. 

In 1870 71, the Germans besieged the town for thirteen days (December 28 
U) January 9), and subjected it to a violent bombardment, which caused con- 
siderable damage, though insignificant in comi)arison with the depredations 
of the late war. The church, especially the belfry, was greatly damaged, 
])art of it collapsing, and a number of houses were either burnt or destroyed. 
During the occupation the enemy committed no excesses. 



98 



Peroune — whose arms boar the following device, " Urbs nescia vinci " 
(the undefeated city) — was decorated in 1913 for its gallant conduct in 153G 
and 1870-1871. 

Peronne during: the Great War 

In 1914, during their rapid advance on Paris, the Germans entered Peronne 
(August 28), but were driven out on September 15. They reoccupied tho 
town ten days later (September 24), and remained there until March 17, 1917. 
A year later (March 25, 1918) the British were compelled to evacuate the 
town, outhanked as they were from the north and south by the ever-increasing 
numbers of the German columns marching on Amiens. They re-entered the 
town on September 1, after a series of very fierce engagements which lasted 

the whole day. 

Peronne A\as totally destroyed, 
partly by the Franco - British 
artillery, but especially by the 
systematic destructions on the part 
of the Germans. 

Before retreating in 1917, the 
Germans set fire to or blew uj) a 
large number of houses. Special 
detachments in charge of the de- 
structions made large rents in the 
masonry-work, before firing the 
mines, to ensure total destruction. 

The fighting in 1918 completed 
the ruin of the city, which \\i\\ 
have to be entirely rebuilt. A few 
name-])lates on the broken A\alls, 
and liroken shop-signs alone made 
it ])()ssil)le to identify the heaps of 
ruins which fined the streets. 




SAFK 



llli; (.KUMANS. 



The streets leading from th(> 

castle to the southern ])arl of 

Peronne, and thence to the suburl) of Paris (coni|>l(t(ly ruined). A\cre 

devastated. Tlic long Hue Saint-Pursy, especially, was almost entirely 

destroyed. 

To tlie cast of the town, the railway-station connected with Peronne 
by an eml)ankment across tlie marslics of tlu' Somnu- has retained a portion 
of its shell-torn frame-work, luit the l)ridges across the maishes, as well as tlu^ 
railway-bridge, were Inokcii. 

Tlie cemetery {(iIhihI I /,//(. soo In i/diid Ihe town) was devastated. INlany 
graves were desecrated, and ticiiclics dug among the violated sepulchres. 
A l)att<'ry ol aitillciy was even posted on the sit<' of ancient vaults. These; 
profanations di<l not |iir\cnt tho CJermans from liuiyini.' their dead in a corner 
of the cemeterv. or erecting funeral luoiiuiu'iils (n tinir nieniorv. 



99 




l'EU0:S2yi;. TKENCil IN CEJIJiTKllY. 

Everywhere pillage preceded destruction. The houses, A\-hose walls (jnore 
or less damaged) still remain standing, were completely emptied. The doors, 
partition- walls, windows and wood- work were taken out and burnt. All the 
safes, including those of the Banque de Fiance, were broken open. All 
articles of any value were carried a^\'ay, and the rest destroyed. In 1917, 
mattresses ripped open, battered perambulators and cradles, broken furniture, 
dislocated pianos, even books and family photographs, torn to pieces, 
were found among the ruins. In the gardens, the fruit-trees were either cut 
down or hacked at their roots. 




PKRONNK IN lUlS. Till''. (;1!ANI>1''. I'l.ACi:. CA T'lTRl'.]) I : I'.RiMAN GUNS, 



100 



d^y^ 




^\\^'s 



VISIT TO PERONNE. 

On rcachiiir/ the loini hij N. 'M, rroAs IIk Fauhnurq dc BrctrKjuc, tlie loadway 
of Avhioh was, in places, destroyed by mines. In l'.»17 tliis siiburl) liail 
suffered less than the other parts of the town. Many of Ihc houses could 
casilv have ))eea ro])aircd, hafi they not sustained in MMS new and much more 
important damajie. 

At the end ol tiie sidmil) stands tlie Mreta<ine (Jate, liuiil nl' luiek and 
stone. 'J'liis interesting; specimen of late sixteenth century military archi- 
tecture' alth(iu;;li the vaulting lieais the ihtte of KiOl* is jjreeeded hy another 
ei^diteenth century f^ate, and surrounded i)V remains of tiu' old fortilieu- 
ti(jns. Altliouj^h struck hy shells several times, and rather severely damaged, 
its vital structure is still standing (phofos. j). 101). 

Fulloiv the Ai^emte Dauicoiiil, ichir/i h(t<ls tu Ihc Rm Saiiil-Sunn ur. 



101 




BKKTAI.NJC c;ATK. KXTEIUOR FA9ADE. 



The Rue Saint-S'anveur and the Grande Placte which prolongs it, formed 
the centre of the town, and there the finest shops were to be found. This 
])art of the town ^\■as tlie most completely destroyed of all. 

iSome half-bni'ut, dilapidated house-fronts without roofs are still standing ; 
the other buildings were destroyed by fire or explosions. The adjacent 
sti'eets are in the same pitiable conditioii. 




BRKTAGNK (lA'I'i;. J^'i'KlUOK FACADK, 



102 



The Grande Place and Hotel-de-Ville 

The Hotel-de-MUe, in ^^hit•ll the Museum was iustaUed, was built in the 
sixteenth centuiy, but was restored and enlarged in the eighteenth century. 

Of its Renaissance west front, facing the Grande Place, only the lower 
part — in ruins — remains, forming a porch with balcony {photos, ];>• 103) 

The carved salamanders \\-hich ornamented it ^\■ere smashed A\-ith l)lows 
from hammers. 

Two of the arcades of the jiorch collapsed in lOlS {see second photo on 
■p. 103). 

The Louis XVI. .south front, facing the Rue Saint-Sauvem-. was less 
damaged {photo helou^). 

The roof and the modern belfry \\liich sunnounted the building were 




PlUiONM;. TllK llnTKL-DK-VILLE. 

The front facing the Rue Saint- Sauveui: 



blown u|) in I'.ilT. An uncxploded l)c)iiil) willi -omiccting wires was found 
in the broken fiame-work, fixed to a beam. Before evacuating the town, 
the Clermaiis lixed a larger wooden board on the west front, bearing the folloW' 
ing ins(ri|iti()n : Nichl ilrt/tr, imr iiunidcru (Don't be angry, only admiic)- 

The loot I'll in, l)rcaking liie ceiling of the rooms in whidi the Museum 
and Lilmiry were in.stalied. Some statues were decapitalcil. ;iiiil otiicr 
works of art mutihited. Hooks, maiuisc rij)ts, documents and municipal 
records were destroyed by tlic rain wliiih fell (lirougii the ga])ing ceilings. 

However, the most vaiuahlc woiks in the Museum were saved, as Ihey had 
been carrii-d oil to Ci<-nnany. A few famous ])aintiiigs may lu- incnlioncd, 
including, " The Atlnrl- oj' llir liaihtuiy Station at Strying,^' an cjiisodi^ in 
the battle of Forbach (Al])honse Xeuviilc), another by the sajue aitist, 
*'' Iliinliiiij ill St. ]'irrrr-]'itiist H'oo*/," in which Dc Xeuville is shown sur- 



1015 



*syi^ 




"'Mfr 



Willi 




I'ERONNi;. TilK HUTEL-DK-VII.LE BEF0K1-; THK WAK. 

The liciinis.ftdicc Fwnde orcrloohinf! the Grande J'laep, and modern 
IJe/fri/. jiii the riijht : The Hue Suint-Sam-enr. 

'oiiiidcd by the notables of Peronnc ; and a painting attributed to Biciiglicl 
-hniior, representing a Conference at flic house of an attorneij. at Caintjrai ; 
oI)jeets connected with the local history, an important collection of numis- 
matics, and (Jallic, Gallo-Ronvin and Merovingian antii|uities were among 
the eollertion. 

Before the war an old fifteenth century house with statues stood in the 
Grande Place, at the corner of the Rue du Vert Muguet, near the Hotel dc- 
Ville. 

Ill the Place du jMarche-aux-Herbes which adjoins the Grande Place 
stood a statue of Catherine de Poix, known as Marie Fouche, the heroine of 
the siege of 1536. This statue— like that of General Faidhei-bc at Bapaume — 
was stolen by the Germans during the first occupation of the town. When 




PEHONNi;. 



TJii; ihVrKi.-i)r.-\ ii.j.K in 1917. 



Sote tJie (j'eriiioii iiii^eriptinii mi the ruined luilduiif which the encniii 
hud deliberalebj bluwn ivp. {See text.) 



lOi 




riCUONNE. Till-: I'LACK DU MAKCHK-AUX-IIKKBES BEFOKK TilE WAU. 

In the background, on t/ie ri/jht : Rue St. Furgii and the old house Keen in the photufiraph 
on p. 75. hi the backjiouiid : Statue of Catheriiie de Puir. herninc of the Sieijc of IfiSli. 

the Ist Warwifkshire Regiincnt entered Peionne on Maicli IT, liU", tliey 
found a grotes'iue dummy figure on the ])edestal {photo, p. lO.")). 

At tlic end of the I'lace, near tlie entrance to tlic L'lte St. i''»r,s//, a late 
Hfteenth century wood-panelled house {photo, p. 105), ornamented with eurious 
statues of saints and bishops, was burnt down. 




Tni; i'i,A('K i)U MAUcni;-Ai'x-nKUHKs in J'.M'.). 
I II the /orrij I'll tin d : I'edental of Slutiie (nee abore) carried off iy the (Jermam. 



lo; 




PKllONNK. THK PLACE DU MARCllK-ALX-HERBES BEFOKE THE WAR. 

Seen from the line St. Fursfi. The 15th Century icouden house mi the rlijht, in the fureijnnind, 
wax biirni dou'ii. In the background : Church <i/ St. .'/can. 

There is a liiK- charcoal iliawiiiu of it l)y Alphoiise do Xeuvillc in the 
Museum. 

Oh. tlic otlnr .siih' of flic Graiide I'lace, at the entrance to the line St. Jcini, 
stands the st. Jean Church (Hist. Mon.), in fifteenth century fiamboyant 
style, A\'ith three naves terminated by a rectangular apse, to-day in ruins. 

The Church of St. Jean 

Of the St. Jean Church only the gapint;;, crnmliling walls of the main front 
remain. The northern front collaj sed entirely. 




J'El)i;s'l'AE Ol- THE STOLEN STATEE OF CA'ITI i;i! I\ E 

T)E I'OIX (.SYV p. 104). 

()n llic left : I'drt iifthe ruinx of the ,S7. Jc(rn Church. 



106 




PKBOXNE. THE FACADE OF ST. JEAN 
CHUKCH, BEFOKE THE WAR. 



The sixteenth century Sjuare tower, Hanked b^- a round turret {pJioto 
above) has vanished. 

The ^\•estern portal with its three doors, decorated with line fifteenth 
century carvings, was greatly mutilated ([ilinfo brhur). 

The roof, frame-work, and interior vaulting, w liicli was ornamented with 
very tine pendentives, collapsed. 

Some of the pillars fell down, and most of the dislocated arches have 
gradually crumliled away under the action of the wcathci-. 

The grand organ was greatly damaged ; all the pipes w ere rcmo\ etl au^l sent 








TUK rAiADK or ST. JKAN CIll KCll IN \'.I\'.K 



107 



I :k-3 









I I F !!|! « 











PERONNK. TilK PLACE DU :MAHCin';-ArX-Hi;H.HKS, AXI) TJIK RUK ST. GEORGES. 
Ill the l/achjriiiiii(l : One a/ t/ie towers 0/ t/ir ('hi'iteim {xee beloir.) 

to German^'. On tlic other hand, the seventeenth century, multi-colonrecl 
marble r(M'(^clos of the high and \lrgin altars were not se\erely damaged. 

T/ii' line Saiiit-Georgcs, at fJic south-tvoit end of l/ie Place, leads to the 
Chateau. 

The four lai-ge sandstone to\\ers A^ith conical roofs, ^xliich faced the toAvii, 
used to form part of the enceinh- of J'tronne. 

One of the towers was destroyed ; the other three are still standing, although 
m a greatly damaged condition. 

The pointed door between the middle towers A\as nuitilated. 




OF THE WAR. 



108 




TllK DKSTKOYKU BRIDGE ON THE OLD KAMl'ARTS. 
i)n the n'(jlit is tlie end af the line St. Fiim;/. 

The other parts of the castle, posterior to the ]\Ji( Idle -Ages, Mere either 
burnt or destroyed by explosions. 

Kulurn to the Place du Marche aux Herhes and lake on the r'ujJd the Rue St. 




•IlIK ()l,l> ItAJirAU'lK IN 'I'lll', rAl'110i:U(4 Di; I'AUIS. 

Ill ilic fitri'ijruitifi : The ileKlioi/eil tiiiilije ; In the liiiekiirnunil : The teiniiinai'ji brutijc ; Or. the, 

riijht : The S. 17 'jniinj tmeanln VitUrs-CitrtiiiiineL 



109 



N^S^Qiwntin 




Fursy, tvhich, after croasinrj the bridges over the old ramparts, leads to the Faubourg 
de Paris. 

At tlic end of the Faubourq de Paris, tahe the road to Biaclies {G.C. ]) 
on the right of'N. 17 ; then, 100 yards from N. 17, on the left, the G.C. 79, 
tvhich climbs the slopes of a hill dominating the valley. 

Folloio this road for about 1 hiii., ^\•hen the top ^\^ll be reached, from 
which there is a fine panoramic view of the valley of the .^omme, Peronne and 
Wont-k^aint-Quentin (photo, jqj. 110-111). 

Ta/,-e on. foot tlie putli wJiicii starts from there, and leads to the ruins of 
La Maisomiette Chateau, about 260 yards fro^n the road. 

La Maisonnette 

The estate of La Maisonnette occupied the summit of a limestone eminence 

which dominates the battlefield south of the &'omme (highest point, 320 feet). 

In 1870, the Geiman batteries shelled Peromie from this hill. In 11)10, 




THE BATTLEFIELD AT LA MAISONNETTE. 



110 



Siile of the Crest of 
La Maisonnette. 



Cemetery. 



Mont- 
St.-Quentin. 



Marshes of 
the Somiiie. 




they wore detcrmincil (d li()l<l it at all costs, knoA\ing l)y ox]iorioncc that the 
town uoulil soon lie niiti'iial)lc with l''icnch aitilln'v posted there. 

'I'lic liLrhtinu wiiieli took ])lace for the ]iossessi()n of La Maisonnette was of 
the Wloodiest, and iiiatle the niins of the ])laee famous. 

The estate com])rised a modern chateau and a park, a second residence 
clos(^ l)y, about a dozen houses in the vicinity, and some line trees and orchards. 
Ail the houses, thickets and woods ineludintr iilaise Wood, to the north — 
had hetni stronuly fortified. A maze of entrenchments covered the whole 
park. ,\ second continnons line of trenches ran romid the castle. Looi)-holes 
Jiud heen made in the ivy-covered walls of the cli;iteau. At the corners, and at 
intervals, in thc^ foiuidations of the eastle, machine-guns were ])osted. The 
ont huildinL's of the estate were similarly fortified. The cellars, some ."iO f(H>t 
dc(-ii, were tMrn<-d into armoured shelters, capahle of successfully withstanding 
th(! most violent homhardments. and comiected with one anotlier and 
witli tlic dcffnce-works of I'laise Wood liy a subterranean ]iassage, wliicli 
enabled iln- ( iermans either to fall back \mseen towards the canal oi' 
a])proach foi' ( dunter-attaeks. 

Ifou'exei'. this did not |iri'\cnt a I'^cmh ('olonial Ib'L'iment from carrying 
the whole position in an hour and a half on July D. Tlic cellars were cleared 



Ill 



PevmiTio. 



FaiiliiinvK <le P;irig. 




:i.i.NT-ST.-QUENTIN SEEN FROM LA MAISONI^ETTE. 



out with grenades, and the Germans, unable to \\ ithstami the impetuous eharge 
of the " Marsouins," surrendered in large numbers. The fiercest fighting took 
place at Blaise Wood, the defence works of which connected La Srai.soiinette 
A\ith Biaches. At this point a German detachment in serried ranks laiscd their 
rifles in sign of surrender. As the French advanced to disarm them, the 
German ranks o])ened, a hidden machine-gun flred on the French, killing 
two officers and about hfty soldiers. The French retiied, but the lost ground 
was won back the same day. 

On July 15. the Germans counter-attacked furiously, and attem]ited by 
melius of liquid tire and asphyxiatiiig grenades to slip into La Maisonnette 
through Blaise \\'ood. They succeeded in gaining a footing in the northern 
pai't of the wood, but wei^e driven out the next day. 

On the 17th, six successive assaults were made by the enemy on La Slaison- 
nette hill, l)ut each time the Germans were repulsed with sanguinary losses. 

Renewing their attacks, they finally succeeded, first, in gaining a footing 
in the outskirts of Blaise Wootl, and, latei-, with the lielp of liquid tire, in jiene- 
trating further into the French first lines, where they established themseh(>s 
in the ruins of the farm. 

But, in spite of all their elforts, they were unable to establisJi tlicni.selvos 



112 



securely on Hill 97, to the west of the estate, wliich dominates the whole valley 
of the Somme, l^efore and beyond Peronne. 

Throughout the winter of 1016-17 constant bombardments, grenade fighting 
from trench to trench, local attacks \\ith alternating success and failin-e, made 
the position on the crest untenable to both sides. Finally, on March 17, 1917, 
Maisonnette Hill was entirely captured by the Allies, and tlie (Germans fell 
back on the Hindenburg Une, abandoning ^\^thout striking a blow the few- 
trenches which they had managed to keep on the left bank of the Somme and 
which they had until then so fiercely defended. 

The British, ^^•ho, early in 1917, had taken over this sector from the French, 
entered the \'illage, now completely destroyed. The pretty INIaisonnettjp 
Chateau had been reduced to a shapeless mass of ruins, while the beautiful 
park in which it stood was so devastated as to be unrecognisable. The orchards 
were destroyed, the woods hacked to pieces by shell-fire. Only a portion of 
the organisations \\hich siu'rounded the ^Maisonnette jjosition, and those wliich 
connected the hill with Biaches, had withstood the bombardments. 

The picture of desolation which met the British soldiers" eyes from the top 
of Hill 97 was such as no cataclysm could have caused. Nothing was to be 
seen but devastated lands, destroyed ^■illages and felled trees, while beyond 
the inundations A\'hich hatl been spread over the Somme marshes, the smoke 
could Ijc seen rising from the ruins of Pcroniie, set on fire by the Germans. 

lietuDi by the same road to (j.C. 1, ivhich take on the left. Follow the Souunefor 
a short distance to the ruins of Biaches. This small WUage formerly nestled 
in the bottom of a verdant nook near the Canal of the Somme, less than 1 km. 
from the ancient ramparts of Peronne, and separated from it only by the marshes 
and the A\ide and sinuous river. 




nrAcm.s (iirucif as tuk wak i.kit it. 

/;( til. hitrhiroiiiiil : Tlf MniKhen of the Somvie ; On tin' riijlil, hiliiinl 
the ti'fi'it : 'I'hf hrithinliKj nf I'i'riiiuic. 



113 



14^ ^L l'^) 





BiACilES. XlIK SUCIAU KKFINKKY IN 1916. 



The Fightings at Biaches 

The fighting at Biaches, Uke that at La IMaisomiette, gave rise to some of 
the most famous episodes in the Offensive south of the Somme. 

The French advance had been so rapid that as early as July 8 General 
FayoUe's troops, having broken through the German front to a dejith of 8 
kilometres, occupied the outskirts of Biaches. The next day, after an intense 
bombardment, the system of trenches which protected the outskirts of the 
village was carried in a few minutes. 




''.^^¥h^^ 




L 



X - -' 
V 






^W^^.~M .'"" . ■ -^ 




BIACHES. THK SUGAR RKFINKRV IX IIJIU. 
Seen from tlie ndiiw rieii'-jioint. 



114 



A desperate struggle which lasted all day took place in the village, A\here 
eveiy street and crossing was protected by defence works. INIachine-guns 
were posted in all the houses, -while buildings hke the town -hall, sugar 
retinery, railway-station, etc., had been turned into powerful centres of 
resistance. 

A block of houses to the south-east resisted till the evening, when it ^as 
reduced. At the entrance to the village, close to the Herbccourt load, a strong 
jjoint, passed in the course of the advance, was still in enemy hands. 

This position, which subsequently acquired fame under the official 
name of Herbecourt Redoubt, enabled its occupants to take the French in the 
rear, and rendered the occupation of the village very difficult and uncertain. 

It was absolutely necessary to carry it. Frontal attacks were stop]:ed 
short l)y a murderous machine-gun fire ; a concentration of fire Avith trench- 
mortars gave no better results. Finally, in the afternoon of July 10, a captain 




HiACHi'.s. j)i;i' i;nci;-\v()1{ks in iiii-; i'i.aci; dk i.a maihiI''. (l'Jl(i). 



and eight imn, witli '"extraordinary daring." (rc|i( up to and entered the 
redoulit. 'I'he garrison, which still nunilx red I li' nun and - officers, lost 
their ])rcscuce of mind and surriMuli'icd without o lit ring any resistance. 

'J'lie loss of Biaches, which formed tlie last advanced defences of iV-ionne, 
Avas a particulaily hard blow for the Oermans, wlio attempted, on several 
occasions to reconquer the position l)y licKc counter-attacks. 

On July If), a terrific l)oinl)ar(hncnt was opened on the village, 'i'he ruined 
houses collapsed, tires broke out. and most of the shelters, including those 
under the cellars, A\('re smashed in. The attack followed in the evening. 
I^eaving Peronuc liy tlic {'"auloinL' <l<- raiis, tlic (Annans. i'aNoincd liy fog, 
slipped along the lianUs of the canal an<l readied the h'tcuch tiist lines, which 
they attacked with li(|iiid tire. 

One section, suiToundcd with llnnies, L:a\c way. TakiuLi ail\anlaL:e of 
this, the enemy slipped into the village and. after a violent engagement, 
i()i\'|uered thi- greater part of it. only to be diiven out ajzain the next day 
by a counter-attack, during which the I'^rench won back all the lost ground. 



115 




BIACHKS. 



XHK PLACE DK LA JIAIRIE IN VJli>. 



hi the evening of July 17, the enemy made another poweiiul ell'oit. Sup- 
ported by heavy batteries posted above Peronne on Mont-Saint-Quentin Hill, 
^\■hieh kept up an uninterrupted fire, the Germans again entered Biaches and 
ea])tured it. The struggle eontinued throughout the next day in the ruins of 
the ^•illage with varj-ing fortiuie, and it A\'as only on the 19th that the enemy 
were definitely driven out. — ..^. 

Further counter-attacks Avere la\niched afterwards, !)ut met with no 
better success. From July 17, 1916, till Mai'ch, 1917, the French and, later, the 
British maintained their lines intact in front of Peronne. on the edge of the 
Sonune iMarshes. 

On lea\dng Biaehes, G.C. 1 rises towards Herbecourt. Looking back, 
there is a very fine view of Biaches, Peroime and the valley {Panorama, 
pp. 116-117). 

3 Ion. ijOO htijond Biachrs, leave, on the left, the village of Flaucourt (com- 
pletely destroyed), which was carried In' storm on July 3, PJIG. Herbecourt 
is 1 km. 500 farther on. 






'^ 



iatrz: 




BIACHES. THE PLACE UE LA MAIBIE i:^ 191'J. 



116 



Somme 
Mai-sheP. 



Buii-e 
Wood. 



Saint e G.C. 

Radegoude. Biaches. 1. Afavshes. 




PANORAMA OF BIACHFS 

as seen from the Biac/ es 

At the pntranco to the ^^lla,tro, on the left, is a large Clevinan eemeterv, 
and on the right a house (almost iutact) in which a CJeriuau chessing-station 
was installed. German frescoes may still be seen on the walls {photo, ji- 117). 

After eaptining Dom])ierie on July 1, 1!)1(), the J-'rench advanced so rajiidly 
on Herbecourt that the Cermans \\ere unable to make use of the numerous 
defence-works which had been accumulated between the t\\o villages. The 




TKKNCIl ON TJIi: ilKUUI.COL'RT I'LATKAL". 



117 



IV'roiiiic. Mar.-lips 



J of Peronnc. 

(■Iip«. FMMl»Mu-i:ile Pill-is. 



Maisonnette. 




.\M) i'ERONNE, 
Hcrbecourt road. 



liill ovoilookiiig Herbecourt was canictl iu a few minute.s, and on July 2, the 
village itself was entirely conquered. 

The French had thus advanced about 4 km. in depth, and the German second 




Hintr.i.cuuiiT. noLoi-:, j'JvACTically u^'damai.ed, 

DECOHATKD BY THE CiEKMANS WITH FRESCOES. 

It was used as a, dressiiig-station. 



118 




HERBKCOIRT, KU1X5 OF THK CHI KLll. 

line of resistance was broken into in front of Pcronne (G km. to the cast), i.e., 
at its weakest point. 

Horbc'court commands a crossing of roads wliicli brancli off in various 
directions. l»apid communication with the .south of the i)latcau ^\ as now possible 
by the road leading to the village of Assevillers (carried on July 3) on the one 
hand, and with the Somme valley by the road which ends at tl:c l)ridgt's and 
highway of Feuilleres (also captured on .luly .'^). 

The brick and rublile houses of Herbccourt stcol at this cross-roads. 




UN i,i;A\iN(i iii:i(ni.C(M ur -(ii;uMA.N hi.oikhoi sk at 
■I hi; coitM-.K OF TiiK HOADS TO CAi'i'v {(111 tlic right) 

AND UOMlMEltltE {ull lIlC Icfl). 



119 




GEKMAX TREXCHKS ON THE HERBECOURT PLATEAU. 




E'EUILLEUES CHURCH AND VILLAGE [llut ill, Ililierary). 

Oil the canal letweea FiUe and niaclii'f. ih'i) iverc clulentli) 
bombarded in IDIU. 



120 



Nothing remains of them now, except a few walls, beams and fragments of 
the timber frameworks of the battered farm-houses. 

The facade, steeple and roofing of the church were destroyed. Only a few 
battered fragments of the sides, walls, and choir are still standing. 

Leave Herbrcourt by the (J.C. 71. A ])lockhou.se for inachine-gmis is seen on 
the left, near the last ruins. 

The road runs across a bare plateau, then passes through the destroyed hamlet 
of Becquincourt, after which Dompierre /••* reached. 

Dompierre was the central point in the zone of attack on July 1. 191(). It 
was carried on the first day, after a brilliant assault, together \\ith the 
neighbouring hamlet of Becquincourt and Bussus farm, to the south. The 
(lerman system of defence-works comprised three successive lines of trenches 
connected with one another by communication trenches, and reinforced with 
redoubts and concrete shelters for machine-guns. Here were to be found the 
'■ Gatz " trench, and the " Misery"' and " Thirst "' communication-trenches. 
The bombardment which preceded the attack ^\as terrific, the whole area 






Y 




'Bassn 







s 



Lisseifillers 













.s trees 




\^ yhrrriandovillei^Ahlajji£oiirt' ///Ahlaincowrt 



being upturned by the sbclls; not a single sipiarc ynid of the ground -was 
left intact. 

Tlic \ illage was not spaicd l)y the 1 oinliardinnits ; most of tlie houses 
were reduced to shapeless lieajis of l)ii(lss and broken Ikmuis. 'I'iic site of the 
cjnircli is marked liy a lieaj) of white stones, higher tlian tiie otliers. 

After passinrj through liiiiiipii n> . lake the road to Fay, on the hjl. 

The ruined suear-rcfincry ot Domiiierre /.v on the rii/l/l, 'HM yurds 
further on {jdndos, /i. 121 ). 

The Domjiierre Sugar I'clinery was within the l-'rench first lines, but the 
viihige itself, although close l)v, was still in enemy hands. The (lermaus 
attacked the refinery for two years, without being able to ea])tuie it. It was. 
liowever, cut to pieces l»y tlie shells. The brick walls enimblcd away. l)ut the 
steel framework resisted. .Xumiieis of twisted and rusty pi|)( s. iron plates, 
cocks and vats, all disjointed, broken. an<l out of shape, are still to be seen. 

(^iiitc flour to, at (t rroK.srcdil, slinnlK a eaUary which is now famous. 
The ground all around wua churned up i)}' the shells ; only one hit the cal\ ary, 



121 




jjo.Mi'ii.jna:. tuk sul.ai: hei'inkky in 11)16. 

carr\ing away an arm of Christ. The cross remained intact, and supported 
til'' mutilated statue to the last. 

J'a^.i through Fay, 2 km. dih) fdiiher on. 

In the neighbouring sector of Dompierre, mine explosions succeeded one 
another almost incessantly at Fay, during the trench warfare jieriod, especially 
in li)ir)-li»16 ; the official conimuniqucs often mentioned this fighting as 
being extremely violent. 

The iMciuli and German trenches ran along the western outskirts of the 
village and were pi'otected by very ]iowerful defence-works, difficult to 
approach in the open. Recourse was, therefore, to mines. 

The Somme offensive put an end to these sanguinary engagements, which 
had brought about no great change in the French or German positions. 
Fay, completely razed, was carried on July 1. 

Among the ruins, the road turns at right-angles to the left (leave the Esfrees 
road to the right). 3 km. beyond Fay, Asscvillcrs, hidlt on a hill and entirely 
destroyed, is reached. 




DOJiriEUUE. THK SUCIAU .KKFINKKY IN I'Ji'J. 

On the left: Road to Faucancuurt ; On tlie rijIU : lioad to CItuiijiies. 



122 



Pass through Assevillers, turning to the right, on entering. On leaving, take 
tlie road to Belloy-en-Santerre, on the right. 

Before reaching Belloy, the road descends into a hollow (see defence-works 
and shelters), and skirts Belloy Wood, the trees of whii-h were cut to pieces 
by shell-hre. The wood lies on an eniinence, from the tojJ of which are seen 
the ruins of a castle. Ynv: \icw towards Biaches. 



Capture o^ Belloy-en-Santerre 

Debouching from Assevillers (carried on July 3, 1916) and progressing 
north of Estrees, a number of French units readied the outskirts of Belloy- 
en-Santerre on July 4 ; this village was powerfully fortihed and formed an 
important strong-point in the German second line defences. 

That famous regiment, the Foreign Legion, whose flag is decorated with 






v\\ vii.L.\(ii;, AS Tin; \\\n \.v.vv it, skkn from thk asskvii.i.kus koah {Itincnnij). 
On Ihi' li-ft : UiHiil til Kxti-fi'n ; I ii J'raiil : llmiil frmii htiiiijiifi'ye. 



(lie Lrgion (VllotinPur, and whose innumerable exi)Ioits have won for it 
many mentions in the Orders of the Army, was ordered on duly 4, at (i p.m., 
to earry the position immediately at (he point of the liayonet. 

l)r|)l((\c(| ill li;it I !(• Idiin.it iiiii. 1 he\ eh:irL'ed aeross a Hat meadow '.HHt \ ards 
iiroad. When .'!<>(> \ards liDin their oiijectix <■. inai liiiie uiins hidd<'n in the 
]»ath from hlstiM-es to Uelloy were siidrlenlv uuniasked. and a deadly tire mowed 
down the l''reneli ranks. The !»(ii .'iiid Nth ( '()in|ianies sustained |)art ieiilaiiy 
heavy losses, all the oHieers falling. (>iie oj tli<se ((iini'anies reached the 



123 




lUOLr.OY-EN-SANTEKRE, SEEN EKOM THE Sl'J'E OF THE CHUKCH. 
In the iinddle : Road f mm .{■■■t<ccilk'n> ; At the back : Ddbjy Wond. 



objective undci' tlie c-onuuaud of the mess cori;oi'al. Belloy was cajituiid 
and 7;"0 (Uriiians Avere taken jiriHoiurs. 

The enemy immediately laiinehed eounter-attaek vqon counter-attack. 
Terrible Hghting went on throughout the night, in the early morning, the 
Germans regained a footing in Eelloy, and entered the park of the Castle, 
where three sections of the Legion were surrounded. 

A second-lieutenant received orders to restore the situation with the 
remnants of a company. Posting his men along the Belloy-Barleux road 
(G.C. 79), he cut the line of retreat of the Germans, who had entered the park. 
The latter endeavoured to bieak through, \\\i\\ a detachment of disainu tl 
lirisoners in theii' midst. 

The lieutenant shouted to the prisoners to lie down, then ordered his men 
to fire on the standing Germans. The latter sunendered, with the excei)tion 
of a handful who attempted to carry away a \\ounded French officer. The 
newly-i'eleased prisoners, although unarmed, dashed to the rescue of the 
commander and brought him back in triumph. 

BelJoy was almost entirely reconquered, and when in the evening a new 
coiniter-attack was launched, theii' assaulting waves wei'e literally mowed 
down. 

'J'iie terrific bombardments which took ])lace before and after the captuie 
of Belloy-en-Santerre entirely annihilated the village. 

The road at Belloy ])asses by a large French cemetery and. a littli- further 
on, th(^ ruins of the clnii'ch. Titl't' a ii rich/- made road leaduKj to the Atnievs- 
Sl. Qiii'iiliii roail. 7'nni to t/ie right, loirards Eslricf (.'? km.) and pass (o» the 
r'ajht), a T)ritish then a large French cemetery. Estrdes is next reached. 



124 




MILITARY CEMETERY TO THE EAST OF ESTREES, 



Estr^cs 

This village was built along the wide road (;1n old Roman causeway) 
which runs from Amiens to Vermand, and thence to Saint-Quontin (G.C. 201). 
This absolutely straight road formed the se])aration line between the Chaulnes 
sector and the ^:^omme battlctield pioperly so-called, where the Franco- 
British attack began on July 1, lOlO, and which extended along both banks 
of the Somme, as far as the small river Ancre. 

Estrees was one of the points where the lighting, begun on -luly 1, was 
most violent. 

The French, whose first-lines at the time ran east of Foucourt, carried 
the advance trenches which covered Estrees, along the Amiens — St.-Quentin 
road, after most desiierate tighting, and tinaliy gained a footing in the village. 

'I'he photograph opposite shows tli(> condition of the road after its capture 
l)y the French ; the causeway had disappcaictl and. on the shell-torn ground 
there were hardlv anv traces left of the (ierman tienches which hail everv- 
where fallen in. 

Estrees village had to be captured house by horse. On the evening of 
July 4, after three days" tighting, the Cienuans held only the eastern jnirt of 
the village. For the next twenty days, about 200 of them liung on desperately 
to it, holding back the assailants with machine-guns posted in the cellars, 
wliich lired through tlie narrow vent-holes. To overcome this resistance, 
wliich prevented all advance noith or south, it was necessary to sacrilice 
these hou.ses, and for six consecutive houis '.tin.. 11-in.. and 15-in. shells 




ESTUKKS. srn-: tu' xjii. clMl:ll,l;^ in aii^i sr, I'.Ht',. 



125 




THF. AMIKNS ST. QUENTIN KOAD IN SATYRES WOOD, 
WEST OP ESTRKES (I'JIG). 



]ioiin(l('(l tliis sniflll area. Only fifteen survivovs were found in the ruined 
ioiuKluliuns ; the rest of the Cerman garrison had been wiped out. 

This terrible struggle utterly destroyed the village. Its site and the 
surrounding land form a chaotic waste ; all traces of the former landmarks 
have disappeared. 

Keep along G'.C. 201, tommls Amiens. The remains of Satyrcs Wood are 
in a hollow of the road, about 1 km. beyond Estrees. 



Satyrcs Wood 

The remains of this once fine wood extend from this point of the road to 
the village of Fay, 1,500 yards to the right. From 1914 to 191G it formed part 
of the Cermau lirst-line defence-works, and A\as covered -with entrenchments 
of all kinds. 

On July 1. 1910, the French carried the whole wood, promptly re-organised 
the defence-Moi'ks, and used them against their former occupants. 




A COHNEB OF SATYRES WOOI>. 



126 




a.VTVKKS WOOD. 

riie Gertnan Post of Cumiiiaiulment si'eii i/i the photoijraiih below, 
is under this mail. 



Xumei'oiis cottages and shelters hidden by the trees were used as billets 
by the enemy troops in this sector. The officers occupied a special rpiarter. 
A large signboard with the inscription, '" Durchgang nur fiir Offiziere," inter- 
dicted its access to the common soldiers. All the shelters Avere spacious and 
comfortably furnished with beds, tables, armcliairs. hangings, chandeliers, 
and even pianos — all taken from the neigh l)oining villages. Some of the 
cottages were decorated outside, and sometimes bore inscriptions like the 
foUou'ing, carved on the door of a i)ost of commandment : — 

" IMaeht Jollrc audi ein boses Gesicht 
Hier treffen uns seine Cranaten nicht." 

(Joffre may roll his eyes : his shells cannot reach us here.) 

The Frencli soldiers called this wood " Satyres Wood." as they found 
women's clothing in various places. 




SATVItl'S wool". i.I;KM\.S loM HI- 1 iivl \i ASi> -II 
rNIlKU TMK ItOAD (.SYT (ihovr). 



127 




DEXIKCOlTiT WOOD AT SUNSET, 



Return to the enirance to Estries, and take the road on ilw right to Denidcourt. 
On entering the rillae/e, take on fool the swall mad on the ri(/hf to the ruins of 
Deniccourt Chateau, situated in a devastated park. 

Deniecourt \'illage lies about 2 km. (l)y road) east of Soy^court. Across 
the Helds, th-e distance is shorter, and it was covered in a singk' rush on tlie 
day Soyecourt was captured, after which the advance was stayed. The 
second German line ran through Deniecourt, which A\as fortified accordingly. 
The most important defence-works were those aroiuid the chateau, A\hich 
latter formed the key of the whole position. Deep shelters had been made 
under the chateau itself and also in the surrounding park. The whole formed 
an inextricable maze of trenches, fortified works, machine-gun posts, trajjs 
and barbed-wire entanglements, which had to be reduced by sheH-fire. The 
castle was razed to the groxuid, the defences in the park destroyed and the 
ground le\'elled. 

On the day of attack, the fighting was none the less desperate in the 
neighbourhood, and afterwards inside the village. The French advance was 
several times held by furious counter-attacks, and it was only on September 18 
that the wliole position could be surroinided and carried, after several days of 
bitter fighting. Of Deniccourt village, chateau and park, not a stone or a 
tree remained, 

I'll urn to the car and lake t'le road alnadi/ Jolloircil {<J.C. 1(54) t>ack to tJie 
fork {'.'AM ijards north of the viUaeje), thui the road lo Soydcourt {(I.C. 79), 



128 




SOYECOURT CHURCH IN 1916. 

on the hft. At the entrance to Soyecourt the rnins of a chateau — of which 
only the base of one tower remains — will be setni on the left. 

For nearly two years the French first lines ran close to tjie -western out- 
skirts of this village, which lies at the bottom of a ra\-ine. On se\-eral occasions 
the commimiques mentioned sharp fighting around here, which \vas, however, 
merely of local importance. 

It was only on Se])tember 4, 1016, that decisive fighting took place here, 
when the French, after a long and terrific bombardment, carried the village 
in a single rush, and progressed beyond it in the direction of Deniccourt. 

Leaving Soyrcourt, keep along G.C. 79 to Vcrmandoviiicrs (2 km.). 

On September 4, 1916, the village was attacked from the east and north. 
Progress was slow, and marked by fierce fighting from house to house. Ver- 
mandoN'illers was only captiu'cd in its entirety on Septembci- 17. 

At the fork in the village, lake the left-hand road {G.C. 143) to Chauines. 




VKRMAND0VILLEU8. 



129 




niAlLNES 

WiiOI). 

OKli.MAN 

Hl.DCK- 

HulSE. 



Chaulnes 

Chauines Wood is crossed 1 km. this side of Chaulnes. Violent attacks 
were delivered by the Fri'iRh in the vicinity of this wooti. 'Jlie large number 
of soldiers' graves along both sides of the road form an impressive sight. 

Several, hundred yards beyond the fork formed in the road by the junction irith 

G.C. 206 coming from Lilions, turn to the left, 
and enter Chaulnes in front of the ruins of 
the large eighteenth century church. A few 
gments of crumbling walls are all that 
remain {pJiotos, j). 130). 

Chaulnes, the chief town of one of the 
"cantons"' in the "Dejmrtement "' of the 
Somme, was situated at the junction of several railroads. In 1914, the 
Germans tju-ned the place into a fortress, and made it the chief strong- 
point of their system of defence-works south of the Sonime. Traces of the 
j)owerful fortifications — the first lines of which were only carried in 1916 — 
may still be seen along and near G.C. 206, amidst the churned-uii ground. 





CHAULNES 

WOOD. 

FRKNiH 

JIII.ITAKY 

GKAVEs;. 



130 



CHAT7LNE.S 
CHURCH. 




The village was Hanked on the north and north-west by dense woods, 
which were entirely destroyed by the bombardments. These woods were 
full of fortified works, trenches and posts for machine-guns, protected by 
wire entanglements. 

On iSeiitember 4, 1916, the French reached the outskirts of those woods, 
but failed in their attempts to carry them entirely. The Germans mauitained 
themselves there till March, 1917. on positions sufficiently strong to allow 
them to hold Chaulnes, this viUage being outHanketl everywhere else. 

ChaiUnes was occupied only when the CJennans fell back upon the 
Hindenburg Luie. The British having relieved the French troops during the 
A\-inter of 1910, from the Somme to the Avre, entered the place almost ^\ithout 
striking a l)low on March 18. 1917. 

The CJermans I'ecaptured Chaulnes in March, 191S. On August 8 of the 
same year — their front having been pierced before Amiens — they were forced 




"Wi^^. 








CHAULNES. GKNKIlAh VI KW OF TIIU TOWN. 



131 




CHAULNES. 

THE 

CHATEAU. 



to evacuate the Montdidier •" pocket " and to retreat to the out.skirts of 
Chauhies. They reoccupied their positions of the trench warfare period, and 
the remains of their ancient defence-works were still strong enough to enable 
them to hold up tlie British pursuit. The town was only carried on August 28, 
after behig sui'rounded. 

Chaulnes was razed to the ground. The low brick-and-rubble houses 
Avhich lined the wide straight streets sheltered a population of about 1,250 
inhabitants. Very few of them escaped total destruction. 

Return along the same road by which ChaiiJucs was entered and follow it to 
the junction of G.C. 143 tvith G.C. [206, at the exit «f the town. The ruins of the 
chateau are seen on the left, near the fork. 

Tliis sumi)tuous chateau was built in the seventeenth centurj^ by the 
de Luynes family, for whose benefit Chaulnes was raised to the rank of a 
duchy-peerage in 1C21. Madame de Sevigne stayed there in 108-9, and 
extolled its magnificence and grandeur. It was surrounded by a vast park, 
which she compared to that of Versailles. 




Ill I 



ClIATIsAr I'AKK. 
//( tlie foreijround : Fragment of the eiifrnnccijatc between the 
graves uf tivo German officers. 



132 



The outbuildings were still standing when the late \\ar broke out ; to-day 
they form a shapeless accumulation of drbris. The park A\as entirely cut 
up with German entrenchments, of ^\ Inch only a iew concrete machme-gun 
posts and underground shelters ^^■ith concrete entrances remain. The fine 
old trees of the park were reduced bj- the shells to mutilated stumps. 

Near the entrance-gate of the chateau is a po^erf ul system of def enc^e-^\•orks, 
consistmg of a machhie-gun blockhouse and inter-communicating underground 
shelters, the entrances to whic"!! may be seen near the side of the road. 

After visiting the chateau, keej) along G.C. 206, towards Lihons. 

Skirt the so2(thern end of Chaidnes Wood, near which, on either side of the 
road, are two powerful concrete blockhouses and otlier German defence- works. 

Lihons (3 km. heyoitd Chaulnes)is 
next reached. 

Lying at an imjiortant junction 
of several roads, Lihons ^\■as already 
ui enemy hands when the front-line 
trenches were made. 

Starting from Rosieres-en-San- 
terre at the end of October, 1914, the 
French first reached and carried 
Lihons after a series of fierce engage- 
ments, then progressed beyond it, in 
the direction of Chaulnes (only 3 km. 
distant). For more than a month 
tlie Germans counter-attacked 
almost daily, in an endeavour to 
recon(|uer the lost trciiches, but were 
each time repulsed. 

Exasperated by their failine, 
they then l)ombarded the to^\^^ 
without res]nte, and when the Allied 
Offensive of lOK) began this shelling 
was further intensitied. 

Lihons, a small country to^^^l, the streets of which— bordered with low 
houses- ran in all directions from a large, central square, was quickly reduced 
to ruins. The houses fell down one aftn tin- other, and tlic c lunch suffered 
ii-reiiarable damage. 

The rliurch was one of cousidcrnble interest. The choir, transept and 
lower part of tiic tower. l)iiill .it tlic iiiliMscction of the trans<>|)t, were finely 
proportional and dated fidin tlic thiittcnlli century. The other i)arts of the 
building were fifteentli ((mIuiv. 

In .Iiil.\-. l!'l(), the church had already lost its tower, roof and vaulting, but 
the outsi<li- walls, tlic jiillars sei)aniting the three naves and the three gables 
of the main facade were still standiiiL'. Tinve months laternothing was left 
but fragments of broken walls, amidst a sliii|ieiess accumulation of debris 
{j)hotoii, ]i. 1.33). 




KNTItANLK TO CiKKlIAN SUELTEK AND 
BLOCKHOUSE IN THE CHATEAU PARK. 



133 





LIHONS CHURCH BEFORE THE WAR. 




ElHO:Nti CHURCH i>; I'JiG. 




LIHONS CHURCH iX I'Jl'J. 

On the left : The road to Vennandovillers. 



134 

Further fighting took place in the ruins of Lihons in 1918. On August 8, 
British troops, starting from the region of Villers-Bretonneux— Hangard, 
reached Lihons on the lOtli. Preceded by liglit tanks, armoured cars and 
cavalry patrols, the Australians immediately entered the village, drove out 
the enemy and captured a complete Divisional staff. It w&s in vain that the 
Germans launched numerous counter-attacks in an endeavour to recapture 
the village and clear the approaches to Chaulnes, v,\ieve they attempted tc> 
establish theii' luies of resistance. They could only delay the British advance 
for a iew days. 

At Lihons, leave the Veniiandovillers road {G.C. 79) on the right and take 
tlmt on the left. Turn to the right, in the village, leave the church on the rights 
and take the Vauvillers road (G.C. 206) on the left. 

At the fork, about 500 //rwv/.s beyond Lihons, leave the left-hand road to Rosieres^ 
and take that on the right (still G.C. 206). This road skirts a small wood, on the 
right, in which are many graves and gun-emplacements. The village of 
Rosi^res-en-Santerre comes into view, on the left. 

At the crossing of several roads, 3 km. bei/ond Lihons, take the ne^vlij-made 
road on the right to Herleville. The large Frencli " Camp des Chasseurs " 
cemetery [photo hcloiv) is on the left, about 1 km. this side of the village 
of Herleville (completely devastated), ivhich is next reached. 

At tlie entrance to the village, a " calvary "' is passed, of which nothing 
remams but the stumps of four large trees. Keej) straight oji through the 
ruined village to the G.C. 201 (mam road from Amiens to Peromie), I km. 
heyond it. Turn to the left and return direct to Amiens via Lamotte-en- 
Santerre and Villers-Bretonneuxi both of wliich villages were badly 
damaged during the fighting of 1918. 

A short distance before Longneaii, G.C. 201 joins iV. 35, which take to the 
ight. Amiens is entered by the CJiaussce Pcrigord. 




1 . 



T' 



I . 



f 






/> f 



>' 



riE^«.^i..':j>>^ 



THK CAMP DES CHASSEURS CEMETERY. 



135 



ALPHABETICAL LIST OF THE PLACES MENTIONED IN THIS WORK. 



The figures in heavy type indicate the pages on which there are illustrations. 



AI)laiiicoiirt , 

All)fit 

Aniiuiis 

Aiulerlii Wood . 

Assevillers 

Aveluy 

A vesues-Ies-BaiJiiunie 

Baillescourt Farm 

l{ai)aiiiiie . 

Bai'lunK 

Uazt'iitiii k'-Graiid 

35azoiitin-k'-Petit 

Beaucouit 

Beaiiiiiont-ilaiiK'l 

Hecquiucoiirt . 

Kelloy 

Bcriiy 

Beajriiatre 

Biacht'S 

I'oucliavesiies . 

BoiiU'aiiv Wood 

Boveiit 

Bray. 

BussUo Farm 

Cappy 

<'ai'noy . ' . 

<^'liauliies . 

I'hilly 

€16iv 

Coni'lik'S . 11, 20, 2: 

Contalniaison . 

Corbie 

Courcelette 

€urlu 

Delville Wood . 
Deiiici-ciurt 
Destruinoiit Kai'iii 
Donipiurre 

EauL-oiirt . 
Eclusior . 

EstrOcs . . . 

Fargiiy Mill 
Fay . 

Fenillancourt . 
Feuillores 
Flaiic-uurt 
Flers 

Foucourt . 
Fouilloy . 
Foureaux Wood 
Fr6sii^'ourt 
Fricourt . 
F;-;s<i 

Oendarine'a Hat 

Giiichy 

Oomnieconrt 

Oraiidcouvt 

(irevillurs . 

<iui'udc(Ourt 

(iinllfiuoiit 

Haiiiil 

Hardecourt 

Hem 

Herbdwiiirt 

Herleville 

Hill 107 . 



26 

70, 



PAOKS I 
27 
■i\. 32, 33, 34, 35 

ol,(;i; 

. 2(J 

IC, 118, 121 

38, 39 

r>6 

14, 24, 28, 54 57 

. 1(), 20, 27, 2M 

18, 62 

. 18, 21), 62 

. 23,41,42 

15, 23, 40, 41 

16, 120 

16, 122, 123 

26, 27 

. 56 

16, 26, 112, 113116 

21, 22, 25, ',10, 91 

.84 

. 27 

67, 68 

. liO 

69 

64 
27, 28, 128, 129-131 

. 10. 211, 76, 77 
80, 81, 82, 83, 84 

15, is, 62, 64, 65 

. 66 

11, 22, 23, 43, 44 

. 16, 74, 75 

19, 20, 60 

26, 27, 127 

24 

16, 116, 120, 121 

24 

70 

16, 123, 124-125 

73, 74 

16. 121, 122 
. 21, 24, 93 
. 118,119 

16, 115 

22, 58, 59 

. 124 

6() 

22, 62 

. 21, 22^ SI 

14, 15, 04, 65 

16, 70, 71, 72 

. 74 

4, IS, 20, 83. 86 

14, 15 

24 

24, 55 

22 

11, 18, 19,' 20, S3, 84 

39 

, 16, 79, 83 

. 10, IS, 75 

16, 115, 116 119 

. 134 

. 68 



Irlcs . 



PAGES 
24 



abbe Farm 
a Boisselle 
a Maisonnette 
amotteen-Santenc 

assi.miy . 
.(• Foiest . 
,ei]iziu' Bedoiihl 
,e I'ritz Farm . 
.u Sais 
.csha'ufs . 
.e 'I'l-aiisloy 
I'lize Wood 
.ii;iiy-'i'liilli)y . 
,ilioii,s 
oiiiiUeaii . 
.oiiyiieval 
oiipart Wood . 



Manietz . 
Alaiicourt. 
Marrieres Wood 
Martiiiiiuich 
Manrejias . 
,Meieaiici)iirt Wood 
Miraiiiiiont 
Monacii Harm . 
^loiit St. Quentiii 
Moiitauliau 
Morval 
ilouiiuel Farm. 

Noyoii 



Omiocourt 
Ovillers . 

P6ronne . 
I'etit-Blaufry 
Pont-Noyelles 
Pozieres . 
Pre.ssoire . 
Py.s . . 

Rancourt . 
Koye . 



Sailly-le-Sec 
Sailly-Saillisel . 
St. Pierre-Divioii 
St. Pierre- \aast 
Sars . 

Satyres Wood . 
Sch\val)en Redoubt 
Serre 

Soyecourt . 
Stuff Redoubt . 

'!'biei)val . 
Thilloy 
Tortille Valley . 
I'roues Wood . 

Vaux 

^■illers•BretnllI[e^lX 

V'illei-s-Carboiiuei 

\'erniaiulovillers 

Warleucourt 

Zolleni Uedoultt 



24 
. 14, 15, 36, 37 

16, 26, 27, 28, 109 
. 134 
23, 23 
. lO 

23, 48 
. 21 

. 24, £0, 51 

. 22, 82, 87 

24, 87 

20, 84 

24, 58 
26, 132, 133 

6(), 134 

1, 18, 19, 60, 61 

. 24, 54, £6 

14, 15, 62, 64 

14, 16 

20, 'a 

11, 22. 23. 44, 45,62 

. 19, 2(1, 78, 79 

I<i, 72 

24. 42, 43. 44 

17, 7t> 

25, 93, 94, 95, 96 

14, 15, is, 62, 63 

. 22, 24, 82 

23, 48 



24, 25, 26, 27 
14, 37, .38, 136 



16, 25, 28, 90, 97, 99, 108, 136 

. 66 

. 31 

18, 19, 23, 46, 47 



21, 



24, 43 

22, 25, 81, CO, 91 

27, 28 

. 67 
25, 88, 89 

23, 40 

. 25. 82, 90 

50, 51 

. 125, 126 

23, 49 

15, 40 
16, 26, 128 

23, 49 



15, IS, 20, 23, 40, 48, 49, 50 



21 
15, IS, 19, 84, 85 



i 
6, 


26 


70, 73 

. 135 

. 28 

27, 128 


24, 


51, 


52, 53 




• 


23, 49 



136 



OVILLERS- 

LA- 

BOISSELLK. 

THE CHURCH 





-^^-.- 






C O N T E N T S 



The Franco-British Offensive 
The Somme Battlefields 



A VISIT TO THE BATTLEFIELDS 



First Day 
Albert 
Thiepval 
Bapanme 
Contalmaison 

Second Day 
Corbie 
Frise . 
Vaux . 
Combles 
Trunes Wood' 
Mont St. Quentin 
Peronne 
Biaches 

Belloy-en-Santene 
Estrees 
Chaulnes 



PEROXNK 

CHATKAt; 

tp. 107). 




I'AGKS 

2 

10-30 



31-65 
82 

4S 
54 
65 

66-134 

66 

70 

73 

80 

S4 

03 

97 

113 

122 

124 

11291 



l'HINll.L» IN (illKAT IIKITAIN HY WII.MAM CI.dWKS AXl) SUXS, I.IMIIII', l.iiMiiiN. 

A.\I JSis, 1 '.',13,J :i-2020. 



MICHELIN DURING THE WAR. 



As early as 1908 Michelin became interested in Aviation, 
and foreseeing the possibilities of the aeroplane in war- 
fare, he instituted in 1911 the " Aerocible " Prize for 
accurate bomb dropping. 

In 1912 Michelin sounded a note of warning in his 
famous booklet " Notre Avenir est dans I'air." Through- 
out the war he concentrated the whole of his energies 
and resources on the study and production of bombing 
planes. 

Gen. Gallieni, of Marne fame, was so impressed with the 
results obtained that he created and placed at Michelin's 
disposal a special aviation ground at Aulnat, near 
Clermont-Ferrand. 

The French military authorities, in furtherance of their 
1910 aviation programme, requested Michelin to study 
all types of bomb-dropping apparatus for use on French 
bombing planes. 

Michelin improvised an immense factory for the manu- 
facture of bombing planes at his tyre works in Clermont- 
Ferrand, giving the first 100 planes to the army and 
supplying the balance at cost of manufacture. 

Up to Armistice Day Michelin had supplied 1,864 bombing 
planes to the allied armies. 




A VltVV OF ONE OF THE AVIATION WORKSHOPS. 



i 

^ MICHELIN &. Cie., Clermont-Ferrand, France. 

MICHELIN TYRE Co., Ltd., 81, Fulham Road, 

London, S.W. 3. 



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